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Mixed messages in brand names: separating the impacts of letter shape from sound symbolism

Doyle, John R. and Bottomley, Paul Andrew 2011. Mixed messages in brand names: separating the impacts of letter shape from sound symbolism. Psychology and Marketing 28 (7) , pp. 749-762. 10.1002/mar.20410

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Abstract

Recent work suggests that sound symbolism in brand names conveys marketing-relevant messages. However, if the customer sees a brand name rather than hears it, visual characteristics of the letters may convey messages of their own. These may conflict with or reinforce the message conveyed by sound symbolism of the name. Study 1 replicates the essence of the sound symbolism effect claimed in recent work. Study 2 shows that the visual characteristics of letters provide a plausible alternative explanation of these findings. Study 3 manipulates the visual characteristics in the brand name letters and reverses the previously found direction of sound symbolism effects. The findings suggest that powerful visual messages are present in brand names and that because of confounding, the contribution sound symbolism makes to the brand name may not always act as thought.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0742-6046
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:18
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19573

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Cited 5 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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