Verbal anchoring in logos: a cross-national study on the influence on French and Dutch (potential) donators’ response.

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This study examined the influence of the cultural dimension high- versus low-context communication style preferences on the effect of verbal anchoring in logos of non-profit organizations on the perception and response of French and Dutch potential donators. The effect of verbal anchoring on logo recognition, logo appreciation, perceived fit between the logo and the organization’s core values and the intention to donate was measured for three non-profit organizations (Unicef, Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders) with the use of an experiment with a 3 (just the logo vs. logo with organization name vs. logo with name and slogan) x 2 (Dutch vs. French participants) between subjects design. 96 Dutch and 107 French participants filled out an online questionnaire during November 2019. Based on Barthes (1977) verbal anchoring theory, it was expected that a higher degree of verbal anchoring would lead to better donator’s response. Secondly, the Dutch were expected to be relatively more influenced by the level of verbal anchoring when compared to the French, as they would belong to a low- and high-context communication style oriented culture respectively. These assumptions were met for logo recognition, although not for the respondents’ attitude towards the logo, and only partially for the perceived fit between the logo and the presented core values; a higher degree of verbal anchoring indeed positively influenced the participant’s perception of the fit of the organization’s core values with the logo, although nationality had no effect on this. The effect of nationality/culture on the influence of verbal anchoring on the respondent’s intention to donate was contradictory to the expectations; a complete level of verbal anchoring only positively influenced the French participants’ intentions to donate, rather than the Dutch. Although the validity of these results might be limited (due to different logo designs), multinational organizations might benefit from this study’s results in designing their communication strategies. Keywords: verbal anchoring, non-profit organizations, logos, slogans, organizational core values, intention to donate, culture, high-low context communication style.
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