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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Stacey M Baxter, Jasmina Ilicic, Alicia Kulczynski and Tina Lowrey

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children’s perception of a product’s physical attribute (size) when presented with brand elements (brand name and brand logo…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children’s perception of a product’s physical attribute (size) when presented with brand elements (brand name and brand logo) manipulated using sound and shape symbolism principles (brand name sounds and brand logo shape), across children of different developmental ages.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship between sounds and shapes was examined in a pilot study. A 2 × 2 experiment was then undertaken to examine the effect of brand name characteristics (front vowel sound versus back vowel sound) and brand logo design (angular versus curved) on children’s (from 5 to 12 years) product-related judgments.

Findings

Older children use non-semantic brand stimuli as a means to infer physical product attributes. Specifically, only older children are able to perceive a product to be smaller (larger) when the product is paired with a brand name containing a front (back) vowel sound or an angular (curved) brand logo (single symbolic cue). We illustrate that brand logo-related shape symbolism effects are weaker and appear later in age when compared with brand name-related sound symbolism effects. Further, younger children are able to infer product attribute meaning when exposed to two symbolic cues (that is, brand name and brand logo).

Practical implications

When selecting an inventive brand element, consideration should be given to the relationship between the vowel sounds contained in a brand’s name and product attributes, and also the shape of the brand’s logo and product attributes.

Originality/value

This is the first experiment undertaken to examine the combination of brand name- and brand logo-related symbolism effects in the context of children. We demonstrate that age-based bounds may be overcome through the provision of multiple symbolic cues.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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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

Keywords

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Abstract

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Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2011

Stacey Baxter and Tina M. Lowrey

Children are bombarded by branded communication every day. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that particular linguistic devices play in communication…

Abstract

Purpose

Children are bombarded by branded communication every day. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that particular linguistic devices play in communication, and whether this process differs between children and adults. One such device is phonetic symbolism, which has been shown to lead adults to prefer brand names whose phonetic attributes match product and/or brand features.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experiments were undertaken to examine children's (six to 12 years of age) preference for phonetically manipulated brand names. Experiment 1 replicates findings in previous research showing that preference for a particular brand name within a single product category is dependent on how the brand is described. Experiment 2 extends this research across product categories that are expected to lead to differential brand name preference (based on product features). Finally, experiment 3 investigates the interaction between pure phonetic symbolism and semantic information.

Findings

Children show similar patterns of brand name preference (with some age differences that could be attributable to developmental stages), and that they link particular sounds with specific brand/product attributes.

Practical implications

This research shows that when selecting an inventive and distinct brand name, consideration could be given to the relationship between vowel sounds and brand characteristics. The authors believe that the findings are of importance to marketers as they consider different approaches to the naming of new brands.

Originality/value

This is the first set of experiments to investigate the effects of phonetic symbolism on brand name preference utilising a children's sample.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2014

Richard R Klink and Gerard A. Athaide

The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the brand name–mark sound symbolism relationship extends beyond US marketplaces to emerging markets. Sound symbolism

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the brand name–mark sound symbolism relationship extends beyond US marketplaces to emerging markets. Sound symbolism research indicates that consistent brand name meaning can be conveyed across international marketplaces. Yet, prior work has not investigated whether visual branding elements provide consistent meaning across such contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

To contrast effects across international contexts, we replicate both studies of Klink (2003) with bilingual subjects in Mumbai, India. Study 1 examined whether the sound symbolic relationship between brand name and brand mark holds in this emerging market. Study 2 investigated whether both the brand name and brand mark together can enhance brand meaning in this context.

Findings

Study 1 finds support for the relationship between higher-frequency brand names and brand marks that are angular and smaller in size, with limited support regarding color. Study 2 finds a significant effect for brand marks and a marginally significant effect for brand names on conveying intended meaning.

Originality/value

The authors confirm the relationship between the brand mark and brand name; however, color meaning may be less universal than prior theory and research indicates. In addition, the effect of the brand name on conveying sound symbolism meaning may be less important than visual branding elements in emerging markets. Hence, future research may wish to include additional branding elements in experimental stimuli when testing sound symbolism theory.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 September 2018

Davide Settembre-Blundo, Alfonso Pedro Fernández del Hoyo and Fernando Enrique García-Muiña

The purpose of this paper is to develop an innovative branding method based on the hermeneutical approach and interpretive theory, to respond to the need of a simple and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an innovative branding method based on the hermeneutical approach and interpretive theory, to respond to the need of a simple and effective tool to build corporate identity through an industrial brand identity design and, being a new business, has been considered the brand perception of their stakeholders as the main input to analyze.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study of a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), that produces nanomaterials for the business-to-business (B2B) industrial market, is used to design the new hermeneutic branding method. The methodology process has been structured in four phases that have marked the investigation and that correspond to four different levels of knowledge that, in succession, between them, constituted the so-called hermeneutic circle.

Findings

This new approach allowed us to understand the social phenomenon related to the brand: its characteristic, context and the brand itself. Though hermeneutic analysis has confirmed that business strategy is only part of a more complex system of brand management, it must also consider the competitive environment and the views of the stakeholders.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to research on industrial branding by adopting the hermeneutical approach in managerial practice. This paper is the first of its kind in detail modelling the design phases of a B2B brand, providing an operational tool for marketing specialists.

Originality/value

There is a lack of research studies in the methods for designing industrial brands. The contribution of this paper lies in proposing a new interpretative approach that, acknowledging the different expectations of the stakeholder in the supply chain, allows to draw a B2B brand that communicates the system values of the product and company.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-7812

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Jasmina Ilicic, Stacey M Baxter and Alicia Kulczynski

The purpose of this paper is to compare the influence of spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) and the sounds contained in a spokesperson’s name (verbal congruence…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the influence of spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) and the sounds contained in a spokesperson’s name (verbal congruence) on consumer perceptions of spokesperson–product fit.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 ensured that verbal congruence impacted perceptions of spokesperson–product fit. Experiment 2 compared the effect of verbal congruence versus traditional match-up (visual congruence) on perceptions of spokesperson–product fit. The mediating role of spokesperson–product fit on attitude towards the advertisement and the moderating role of need for cognition (NFC) was also tested.

Findings

Findings indicate that verbal congruence influences consumer perceptions of fit, regardless of visual congruence. Perceptions of spokesperson–product fit also act as mediators between visual and verbal congruence and attitude towards the advertisement. However, verbal congruence did not influence consumer perceptions of spokesperson–product fit when the NFC was low.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for advertisers and brand managers considering the creation of a name for a non-celebrity spokesperson or the development of a brand/spokes-character. However, this research is limited, as it examines only male names.

Originality/value

This research shows that perceptions of spokesperson and product fit are not only influenced by spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) but also by spokesperson name (verbal congruence). This research also identifies limitations of the applicability of phonetic symbolism theory by identifying a condition under which phonetic symbolism (verbal congruence) exerts no effects on perceptions of spokesperson–product fit.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2021

Andreas Aldogan Eklund and Miralem Helmefalk

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise and provide a future research agenda for (in)congruence regarding cues between products, brands and atmospheres.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise and provide a future research agenda for (in)congruence regarding cues between products, brands and atmospheres.

Design/methodology/approach

A semi-systematic literature review was conducted. The aim was to assess, critique and synthesise (in)congruence, which was found in the literature to be dispersed and interdisciplinary, and to propose a theoretical framework in the marketing domain.

Findings

Firstly, the review reveals that sensory and semantic cues are interrelated in products, brands and atmospheres. It illustrates that these cues are the foundation for (in)congruence. Secondly, the findings show various theoretical foundations for (in)congruence. These explain where and how congruence occurs. Lastly, a theoretical framework for (in)congruence and a future research agenda were developed to stimulate further research.

Research limitations/implications

A theoretical framework was developed to enrich the theoretical knowledge and understanding of (in)congruence in the marketing domain.

Practical implications

The review reveals that products, brands and atmospheres have spillover effects. Managers are advised to understand the semantic meaning carried by cues to foster various outcomes, to estimate the trade-offs when modifying (in)congruent cues for products, brands and atmospheres.

Originality/value

The developed theoretical framework advances and deepens the knowledge of (in)congruence in the marketing domain by moving beyond the match and fit between two entities and by revealing the underlying mechanism and its outcomes.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 April 2018

Nicolai Jørgensgaard Graakjær and Anders Bonde

The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of sound branding by developing a new conceptual framework and providing an overview of the research literature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of sound branding by developing a new conceptual framework and providing an overview of the research literature on non-musical sound.

Design/methodology/approach

Using four mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive types of non-musical sound, the paper assesses and synthesizes 99 significant studies across various scholarly fields.

Findings

The overview reveals two areas in which more research may be warranted, that is, non-musical atmospherics and non-musical sonic logos. Moreover, future sound-branding research should examine in further detail the potentials of developed versus annexed object sounds, and mediated versus unmediated brand sounds.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides important insights into critical issues that suggest directions for further research on non-musical sound branding.

Practical implications

The paper identifies an unexploited terrain of possibilities for the use of sound in marketing and branding.

Originality/value

The paper identifies a subfield within sound-branding research that has received little attention despite its inevitability and potential significance.

Details

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

Keywords

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