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A surname brand effect explanation for consumer brand preference and advocacy

Daniel Howard (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA)
Roger Kerin (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 19 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

A lack of empirical evidence currently exists verifying name similarity effects on brand level choice and behavior. This research aims to test for and document the existence of a surname brand preference effect – whether individuals with surnames that match the names of brands prefer them more than other brands and behave in a manner consistent with those preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

In two studies consisting of four national surveys, 50 consumer brands across 23 product categories were examined.

Findings

Findings reveal that respondents with surnames that match well-known national brands more than doubled their preference rate for that brand. Findings also reveal that for consumers who prefer a brand, surname matching results in them being more than twice as likely to label themselves as brand advocates.

Originality/value

These findings represent the first comprehensive examination of name similarity effects on brand preferences and advocacy. The data support and extend existing theoretical findings regarding an ego-driven interpretation of those effects. Implications for marketing practice and future research are highlighted.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Received 7 January 2013. Revised 7 August 2013. Accepted 7 August 2013.

Citation

Howard, D. and Kerin, R. (2013), "A surname brand effect explanation for consumer brand preference and advocacy", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 22 No. 5/6, pp. 362-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-01-2013-0238

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited