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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Yan Kou, Zhong Shuai and Samart Powpaka

This study investigated the effect of adding a customer's name onto a standard product on the customer's product attitude from the perspective of the name-letter effect

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the effect of adding a customer's name onto a standard product on the customer's product attitude from the perspective of the name-letter effect and psychological ownership theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 experiment was conducted to test the name effect in customization services. The main effects, mediation effects and moderation effects were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and PROCESS 2.16.3.

Findings

Adding customers' personal names onto a standard product positively affected their attitude toward the product, and these effects were mediated by psychological ownership. Furthermore, customers' responses were moderated by self-threat, whereby threatening customers' self-concept enhanced their attitude toward the product that had their name on it.

Originality/value

This study found a positive name effect that is applicable to customization services. It also identified mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this effect. Therefore this study extends previous studies on customization services that have solely focusing on complex product personalization by focusing on a service that requires less effort and a more basic customization service. This study also extends previous findings about name-letter effects by focusing on the associations between an individual and an object that are induced by shared name letters and by studying how directly adding a personal name onto an object can influence these associations.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2021

Clinton Amos, Jesse King and Skyler King

Past research has demonstrated a health halo for food product labels (e.g. organic), resulting in inflated perceptions of a product’s healthfulness (e.g. low fat). While…

Abstract

Purpose

Past research has demonstrated a health halo for food product labels (e.g. organic), resulting in inflated perceptions of a product’s healthfulness (e.g. low fat). While past studies have focused on labeling and related health claims, the health halo of brand names has scarcely been investigated. This study aims to address this gap by investigating the health halo of brand names featuring morality- and purity-signifiers.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research uses two experiments to examine the health halo of morality- and purity-signifying brand names on perceptions of nutritional and contaminant attributes. Mediation analysis is performed to investigate perceived naturalness as the mechanism for the brand name effects while moderated mediation analysis examines this mechanism across product types (healthy vs unhealthy).

Findings

The findings reveal that both the morality- and purity-signifying brand names produce a health halo on nutritional and contaminant attributes, regardless of product healthiness. Further, mediation and moderated mediation analysis provide evidence for perceived naturalness as the underlying mechanism driving these effects.

Social implications

This research highlights unwarranted consumer inferences made based upon food brand names and, thus has implications for consumers, public policy and marketing managers.

Originality/value

While much health halo research has focused on labeling, this research examines the health halo of two brand name types which symbolically convey either morality or purity. This research provides additional contributions by investigating perceived naturalness as the underlying mechanism for the effects and is one of the few studies to investigate the health halo for both healthy and unhealthy products.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Sangwon Lee

The purpose of this paper is to examine how developing country brand name and brand origin affect the customer’s evaluation of the brand in radically new high-tech…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how developing country brand name and brand origin affect the customer’s evaluation of the brand in radically new high-tech products. Using processing fluency as a theoretical underpinning, this study can answer the following questions: first, does foreign brand name (developed vs developing Asian brand name) affect the customer’s attitude toward the brand? Second, does the brand origin (developed vs developing country) moderate the effect of foreign brand name on attitude toward the brand? Third, does the individual difference (knowledge and technological sophistication) matter in determining the brand origin and fit effect on willingness to buy?

Design/methodology/approach

A 2×2 between subject experiment was conducted in which two factors were manipulated: foreign brand name (developed: Japan vs developing: China) and brand origin (developed: Japan vs developing: China).

Findings

The fit between brand origin and brand name leads to better evaluation of the brand than no fit. On the other hand, for developing country brand origin (e.g. China), the brand naming effect is mitigated by enhanced processing fluency caused by fit, which leads to better evaluation of developing country brand. Fit effect is more pronounced for more knowledgeable consumers. Technologically more sophisticated consumers are more willing to buy the developing country brand origin than technologically less sophisticated consumers due to the processing fluency effect.

Originality/value

This paper introduces the two dimensions of foreign brand name (developed vs developing) and examines the interaction with the brand origin. This research fills the gap of under-researched area in brand naming literature, which is the effect of developing country brand naming on attitude toward the brand of radically new high-tech products. This research extends the previous literature by applying linguistic mechanism, processing fluency to examine the Asian brand naming including emerging market. This research makes an important theoretical contribution by identifying an underlying individual-level construct, “knowledge” and “technological sophistication,” which explains and influences the effects of brand name and brand origin on willingness to buy the brand.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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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.

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2313

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: 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…

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1877

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: 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

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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…

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1790

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: 19 August 2013

Daniel Howard and Roger Kerin

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

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2663

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.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 22 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Pingjun Jiang

Investigates the role of brand name in consumers' decision making during a customization process, and develops a conceptual understanding of the factors influencing the

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7841

Abstract

Investigates the role of brand name in consumers' decision making during a customization process, and develops a conceptual understanding of the factors influencing the role of brand name from a “search vs experience” perspective. Addresses the strategic relationship of brand with perceived product/service/information preference match and the impact of preference match on consumer “willingness to pay for customization”. Brand name was found to be an important decision variable for customization in terms of getting a better preference match. Brand name still holds an important role on consumer communications, as was expected. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that customization would not “commoditize” brands, but rather increase the effect of brand names in purchase decision making. High‐knowledge consumers reported stronger brand name effect in terms of its importance and usefulness in their decision making. The brand name effect varies across product categories, and the effect is stronger in the customization of search products than that in experience products. Thus, brand names have greater impact on choices in a search product where less total quality information on components is available for facilitating consumer choices. Discusses managerial implications of the study's findings.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2020

Bo Chen

Both foreign and local companies frequently name their brands in foreign language on the market of developing countries, and some of them choose to disclose the brands'…

Abstract

Purpose

Both foreign and local companies frequently name their brands in foreign language on the market of developing countries, and some of them choose to disclose the brands' country of origin to consumers. The purpose of this research is to investigate the joint effects between the practices of disclosing the actual country of origin of the brands and the language of the brand names on consumers' purchase intention for foreign brands and local brands in developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed hypotheses were tested in two studies, namely an experiment and a field experimental survey, with stimuli from two product categories.

Findings

The results of the two empirical studies with Chinese participants consistently demonstrate that revealing the actual country of origin of the brands undermines consumers' purchase intention for local brands that use foreign brand names, but does not impact consumers' purchase intention for foreign brands that use local brand names.

Originality/value

This research first investigates the effects of adapting the brand names into local language of developing countries for brands from developed countries on consumers' purchase intention, which provides new insight into the literature on foreign branding and country of origin effects as well as practical implications for brand managers.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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