User reactions to search engines logos: Investigating brand knowledge of web search engines

Bernard J. Jansen, Lu Zhang, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this work, we investigate consumer reaction to web search engine logos. Our research is motivated by a small number of search engines dominating a market in which there are little switching costs. The major research goal is to investigate the effect that brand logos have on search engine brand knowledge, which includes brand image and brand awareness. To investigate this goal, we employ a survey of 207 participants and use a mixed method approach of sentiment analysis and mutual information statistic to investigate our research questions. Our findings reveal that some search engines have logos that do not communicate a clear meaning, resulting in a confused brand message. Brand image varies among the top search engines, with consumers possessing generally extremely positive or negative brand opinions. Google elicited a string of positive comments from the participants, to the point of several uses of the term 'love.' This is in line with the ultimate brand equity that Google has achieved (i. e., the generic term for web search). Most of the other search engines, including Microsoft, had primarily negative terms associated with them, although AOL, Ask, and Yahoo! had a mix of both positive and negative comments. Implications are that the brand logo may be an important interplay component with the technology for both established search engines and those entering the market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-454
Number of pages26
JournalElectronic Commerce Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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