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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Amelie Guevremont and Bianca Grohmann

– This paper examines to what extent consonants in brand names influence consumers’ perceptions of feminine and masculine brand personality.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines to what extent consonants in brand names influence consumers’ perceptions of feminine and masculine brand personality.

Design/methodology/approach

Four experiments empirically test the influence of consonants on feminine and masculine brand personality. The experiments involve different sets of new brand names, variations regarding the consonants tested (the stops k and t, the fricatives f and s), as well as different locations of the focal consonant in the brand name.

Findings

Consonants influence consumers’ brand perceptions: brand masculinity is enhanced by stops (rather than fricatives), and brand femininity is enhanced by fricatives (rather than stops). Consonants specifically affect feminine and masculine brand personality, but not other brand personality dimensions. Consumers’ responses to brand names and resulting brand gender perceptions (i.e. likelihood to recommend) were moderated by salience of masculinity or femininity as a desirable brand attribute.

Practical implications

This research has implications for brand name selection: consonants are effective in creating a specifically masculine or a feminine brand personality.

Originality/value

This research is the first to specifically link consonants and feminine/masculine brand personality. By specifically examining consonants, this research extends the marketing literature on sound symbolism that is characterized by a focus on vowels effects. This research is also the first to address whether the position of the focal phoneme in the brand name matters.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Salim L. Azar, Isabelle Aimé and Isabelle Ulrich

Mixed-target brands with strong gender identities, whether it be feminine or masculine, are not always successful at targeting both men and women, particularly in symbolic…

Abstract

Purpose

Mixed-target brands with strong gender identities, whether it be feminine or masculine, are not always successful at targeting both men and women, particularly in symbolic product categories. While attempting to maximize their sales for both targets, managers often struggle to capitalize on a single brand, and they hesitate between different naming strategies. This paper aims to build on brand gender literature and understand these brands’ (i.e. brands targeting both men and women) potential to adopt an endorsed brand strategy rather than a branded house strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a before/after experimental design to examine the effect that introducing a gender-incongruent endorsed brand (i.e. feminine endorsed brand name of masculine master brands and masculine endorsed brand name of feminine master brands) can have on consumers’ brand attitude.

Findings

First, adopting an endorsed brand strategy increases the perceived brand femininity of masculine master brands, but there is no increase in feminine master brands’ perceived brand masculinity. Second, this strategy has a negative impact on consumer attitude toward the master brand, with a stronger negative effect for feminine master brands than for masculine master brands, which is mediated by the brand gender perception change. Third, a negative feedback effect on the brand’s gender-congruent users is revealed.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this work is that the focus is on one sole extrinsic brand characteristic (i.e. brand name) in our experimental design, which artificially influences the relative brand name importance for consumers. Moreover, the studies offered a short text to introduce the renaming. This may have made the respondents focus on the brand more than they would have in real-world conditions.

Practical implications

This research provides many insights for masculine or feminine mixed-target brands managers in symbolic product categories, as it shows that changing from a branded house strategy to an endorsed brand strategy appears to be unsuccessful in the short run, regardless of master brand’s gender. Moreover, the study reveals negative feedback effects on the attitude toward the initial master brand, following its renaming, in the short run.

Originality/value

This research provides a warning to managers trying to gender-bend their existing brands because it can lead to brand dilution. It also emphasizes the asymmetrical evaluation of masculine vs feminine master brands, as manipulating a brand’s perceived masculinity appears very difficult to do successfully.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Stacey Baxter, Jasmina Ilicic and Alicia Kulczynski

This paper aims to introduce pseudohomophone phonological priming effects (non-words that sound like real words with a single semantic representation, such as Whyte primes…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce pseudohomophone phonological priming effects (non-words that sound like real words with a single semantic representation, such as Whyte primes white) on consumers’ product attribute and benefit-based judgments.

Design/methodology/approach

Four studies were conducted. Study 1 examines whether pseudohomophone brand names (e.g. Whyte) prime associative meaning (i.e. the perception of light bread; target: white). Study 2 investigates the pseudohomophone priming process. In Study 3, the authors examine the influence of brand knowledge of pseudohomophone priming effects.

Findings

The findings indicate that pseudohomophone brand names prime associative meaning, due to retrieval of phonology (sound) of the word during processing. Pseudohomophone priming effects for a semantically (meaningful) incongruent brand name manifest only when consumers do not have knowledge of the brand, with cognitive capacity constraints rendering consumers with strong brand knowledge unable to mitigate the pseudohomophone priming effect.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for brand managers considering the creation of a name for a new brand that connotes product attributes and benefits. However, this research is limited, as it only examines pseudohomophone brand names with a single semantic representation.

Originality/value

This research shows that sounds activated by pseudohomophones in brand names can influence product judgments. This research also identifies limitations of the applicability of pseudohomophone brand names by identifying a condition under which priming effects are attenuated.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Griff Round and Stuart Roper

The purpose of this study is to investigate the value to consumers of the brand name element for established brands, given that the focus in the literature has been on new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the value to consumers of the brand name element for established brands, given that the focus in the literature has been on new brands. To accomplish this, conceptual development was initially undertaken to illuminate the links between the brand name element and the brand entity and to provide a theoretical framework for looking at changes in value of the brand name element to consumers over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A conjoint analysis experimental approach was used. This involved consumers making trade-off decisions between changes in brand name and changes in price for established brands, where they were active purchasers. This approach enabled isolation of the brand name element and obtained the relative value of the brand name element for each participant.

Findings

The mean value obtained for the importance of the brand name element for established products appeared to show substantial importance to consumers. However, further analysis identified a position where the majority of participants placed little value on the brand name element and a smaller but material group perceived its value as of overwhelming importance.

Originality/value

This paper advances branding theory through clarification of the relationship between the brand name element and the brand entity. It provides theoretical argument and empirical data for the value of the brand name element to the consumer differing between established and new brands.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2018

Benedikt Schnurr

This paper aims to investigate how product positioning affects the influence of product gender on consumers’ product evaluations.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how product positioning affects the influence of product gender on consumers’ product evaluations.

Design/methodology/approach

Using experimental designs, this research investigates how hedonic versus functional consumption goals affect consumers’ choice between feminine and masculine products (Study 1) and how positioning products as either hedonic or functional influences consumers’ evaluations of feminine and masculine products (Studies 2 and 3).

Findings

When pursuing hedonic consumption goals, consumers are more likely to choose feminine (vs masculine) products, whereas when pursuing functional consumption goals, consumers are more likely to choose masculine (vs feminine) products. Further, consumers evaluate feminine products more favorably when the products are hedonically (vs functionally) positioned, whereas they evaluate masculine products more favorably when the products are functionally (vs hedonically) positioned. Perceptions of product credibility mediate this effect.

Research limitations/implications

Connecting theories of gender identity, product positioning and congruity, this study extends previous literature by demonstrating that the effects of product gender are context-dependent.

Practical implications

Many companies use visual design cues (e.g. shape, color) to promote their products’ gender. The findings of this study suggest that companies promoting their products as feminine should highlight the products’ hedonic benefits, whereas companies promoting their products as masculine should highlight the products’ functional benefits.

Originality/value

Applying a conceptual congruity approach, this research is the first to demonstrate that the effects of product gender on consumers’ product evaluations depend on the product’s positioning.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Emma Angus and Charles Oppenheim

More than 600 brand names across three different categories of online information services were analysed. The analysis took the form of both an objective individual…

Abstract

More than 600 brand names across three different categories of online information services were analysed. The analysis took the form of both an objective individual analysis and a questionnaire analysis of brand names. For the individual analysis, a list of 100‐300 brand names for each of the three categories of information services was obtained. Names were picked at random from standard reference sources and brand names were then analysed in terms of their linguistic characteristics. To test whether or not the most frequently occurring characteristics employed by the list of brand names were indeed the ones which would allow users to distinguish, with a minimum of effort, the information services which would be of most value to them, three questionnaires were designed. These were distributed to 530 staff and students at the University of Loughborough. Results suggest that the most frequently occurring brand name characteristics of online information services are not necessarily the most effective in allowing users to distinguish the services that would be of most value to them. Three frameworks are suggested for the future branding of online information services.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 56 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2001

Allan K.K. Chan and Yue‐Yuan Huang

This is the third of a series of studies on Chinese brand naming using content analysis from a linguistic perspective. The first study generalized the principles guiding…

Abstract

This is the third of a series of studies on Chinese brand naming using content analysis from a linguistic perspective. The first study generalized the principles guiding Chinese brands in terms of syllable pattern, tone pattern, compounding structure and semantic preference. The second looked at specific branding rules, focusing on two entirely different products: cosmetic products and bicycles. The present study, following the same linguistic framework of analysis, analyzes three groups of closely related products: spirits, beers, soft drinks, to see how these brands are creatively and distinctively constructed. Finds that the brand naming patterns of the three drinks are basically in agreement with the general Chinese branding principles, and the differences among them directly reflect the development, the consumer markets and characteristics of each product.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

Allan K.K. Chan and Yue Yuan Huang

Brand names contribute to product success. Studies on brand naming have been mainly conducted in western countries with western European languages and few researchers have…

Abstract

Brand names contribute to product success. Studies on brand naming have been mainly conducted in western countries with western European languages and few researchers have focused on how cultural and linguistic diversity is related to brand naming. Attempts to fill the gap by investigating the linguistic content of brand names in the People’s Republic of China. Analyses over 500 brand names of Chinese award‐winning products. Generalizes the characteristics of Chinese brand naming and identifies the preferred syllabic, tonic, semantic and morphological structures. Aims to provide guidance to local marketers to generate a good Chinese brand name in their culture and international marketers to properly localize an international brand in Chinese words in order to enhance business success in the Chinese market.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1977

Leslie Collins

The age‐old question of “what's in a name?” is analysed from a marketing standpoint. The author studies the manifold effects of different names upon us, in a general…

Abstract

The age‐old question of “what's in a name?” is analysed from a marketing standpoint. The author studies the manifold effects of different names upon us, in a general context, and isolates two opposing principle's for evaluating brand nomenclature: the Juliet principle, in which a name is justified by its traditional associations; and the Joyce principle, where names depend on their phonetic symbolism to communicate an idea. Certain groups of letters have been shown, by experiment, to possess qualities of “darkness” or “lightness”, “largeness” or “smallness”, etc., to a concensus of people. A word can also have a symbolic function arising from the associations it produces in the minds of consumers. The author proceeds from these suggestions to evolve guidelines for those engaged in the creation of new brand names. He discusses the evaluation of not only “traditional” names, but also apparently meaningless names like “Omo” or “Kleenex”, and shows how certain names work, or might be expected to work, in the market situation. The name is the one unchangeable part of the marketing mix. This psycholinguistic approach helps to put the question of the “naming of brands” into perspective, giving criteria for a “good” name, and elucidating the stages of arriving at it. Finally, the author points out that wholeness of approach is necessary —the felicity of the name chosen will be conditioned by the depth of involvement of relevant personnel concerned with the new product.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1979

John Myers, Charles Oppenheim and Stephen Rogers

218 brand names of microfilm/microfiche readers, computerized information retrieval systems and on‐line databases were subjected to an analysis of their characteristics…

Abstract

218 brand names of microfilm/microfiche readers, computerized information retrieval systems and on‐line databases were subjected to an analysis of their characteristics. They acre analysed for the product information they conveyed and for the characteristics of the words employed. It was found that brand names tend to employ meaningless concocted words and that the favoured words begin and end with a consonant. Other features of the words used and differences between the groups of products were noted.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 31 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

1 – 10 of 191