Implicit and explicit preferences for brand name sounds

Published on May 11, 2018in Marketing Letters
· DOI :10.1007/S11002-018-9456-7
Ruth Pogacar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(U of C: University of Calgary),
Michal Kouril14
Estimated H-index: 14
+ 1 AuthorsJames J. Kellaris26
Estimated H-index: 26
(UC: University of Cincinnati)
This research shows that people implicitly and explicitly prefer sounds that are more common among top brand names (e.g., “S,” “M,” “L,” and “E”). Implicit preferences correlate with explicit willingness to pay more for hypothetical brands with preferred sounds. This suggests that the prevalence of certain sounds among top brands may be a reflection of people’s phonetic preferences. We examine possible processes underlying phonetic preferences, and offer evidence excluding phonetic embodiment, pronunciation-based fluency, and familiarity-based fluency. The results suggest a phonetic frequency process account. Substantively, these findings indicate that certain sounds should be given priority when crafting brand names.
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