Business development · 10 August 2018

UK’s most popular logos revealed: Which brands stood the test of time?

What makes a memorable logo in 2018?
A study of Britain’s most popular and memorable logos has uncovered some important branding lessons for small business owners.

Why is a logo so important? According to new findings, it’s the first thing we notice about a product. Ahead of a name or even its colour, a logo is the most enduring aspect of a brand.

After surveying over 2, 000 adults, researchers at label maker Avery UK were able to confirm some of our long-held suspicions around ubiquitous brand logos.

A fifth of respondents were so loyal to particular brandsthey will specifically purchase its products over non-branded counterparts despite them often costing more.

On the flip side, just a third will only buy from brands they are familiar with. For 53 per cent, familiarity makes them trust a brand more.

Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white logo topped the list, having been first revealed in the late-1800s and largely unchanged ever since. The prominence of the Coca-Cola logo on items from clothing to homewares is testament to its longevity, and vintage Coca-Cola items can sell for thousands.

The famous golden arches of McDonald’s were ranked second, in front of Disney’s Mickey Mouse silhouette, with Cadbury’s in fourth.

Other logos in the top 10 included those of Nike, Guinness and LEGO.

Nostalgia certainly played its part, with brands from the sixties through to the noughties represented in the final table.

The decade with most logos featured was the 1980s, such as Coca-Cola, PepsI and Nesquick, but 47% of respondents felt products and their packaging look better now than ever.

Commenting on the study, Fiona Mills, Avery UK marketing director, said its findings uncovered the importance of effective product branding on small business success.

the results clearly showed what a huge impact design and branding have in terms of persuasiveness, consumer trust and perception, Mills explained.

when the highest-performing label design elements combine, such as handwritten fonts, bold colours and shapes, emotion and use of heuristics (the brain’s mental decision-making shortcuts), the results can be extremely powerful.”

“There are many historic examples of this, which led us to dedicate this next phase of our study to iconic, memorable branding from the last few decades. Weve also discovered more lessons small businesses can learn from big brands and will continue to share this insight with our consumers.”


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The UK’s 40 most popular logos

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Mickey Mouse (Disney)

  4. Cadbury
  5. Apple
  6. Nike
  7. Guinness
  8. LEGO
  9. Michelin
  10. PG Tips
  11. Oxo
  12. Mercedes-Benz
  13. Google
  14. Levi’s
  15. Adidas
  16. Pepsi
  17. British Airways
  18. Volkswagen
  19. Shell
  20. Amazon
  21. Wall’s (ice cream)
  22. Goodyear
  23. Toblerone
  24. Colman’s (mustard)
Mills added: We had so much fun looking back at product packaging from the different decades. What was interesting was just how many of the nation’s most iconic, recognisable brands all featured label designs that fit with our scientific research findings, further backing up our study’s conclusions.

“Clear and simple labels performed best in our study and that can be said for many of these well-known brands. In our original study, a behavioural scientist highlighted the important part that imagery and font have to play when creating strong, persuasive labels for products or packages.

How many logos could you draw from memory?
when you look at the brands who are most remembered from the decades these findings really apply, it is easy to picture many of their labels clearly in your mind. The results of this study don’t just apply to big business, there are many useful lessons for smaller organisations. Small businesses can learn a lot from looking at the expertise of bigger brands as well as downloading
the free Avery report for some scientific insight into branding.

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Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.