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January 03, 2022

How effective brand names get you to buy

What do brand names like Coca-Cola, Tutti Frutti, Lululemon, Kit Kat and Jelly Belly have in common?

They roll off the tongue with a repetition that influences your spending habits, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Marketing.

Brand names containing repetitive sounds can influence our mood and thus our decision-making ability when it comes to choosing whether or not we buy certain items, claims University of Alberta marketing professor Jennifer Argo

Argo, along with her colleagues, conducted a number of studies testing brand names, including identical samples of ice cream that were given two different names: one for which the name contained a repetitive sound and one where there was none.

The researchers introduced the identical products to test subjects one at a time, citing the name for each sample aloud during the product description. Despite the same ice cream being used, the majority of respondents chose the brand with the repetitive-sounding name.

In other studies, giving people choices over everything from types of desserts to cell phone options yields similar results, Argo reports — provided there’s an audible repetition.

“The findings suggest that brand names containing phonetic sound repetition, if spoken aloud, are evaluated more favourably than those that do not contain such repetition or that are merely read silently,” Argo explains.

Good news for TV and radio advertisers, Argo adds.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...