The Effects of Brand Name Suggestiveness on Advertising Recall

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The effects of brand name suggestiveness on advertising recall  Kevin Lane Keller,  Susan E Heckler,  Michael J Houston.  Journal of Marketing.  Chicago:Jan 1998.  Vol. 62,  Iss. 1,  p. 48-57 (9 pp.)| Abstract (Summary)A study reports the results of a laboratory experiment examining the effects of the meaningfulness of brand names on recall of advertising. Findings indicate that a brand name explicitly conveying a product benefit leads to higher recall of an advertising benefit claim consistent in meaning with the brand name compared with a nonsuggestive brand name. Conversely, a suggestive brand name leads to lower recall of a subsequently advertise benefit claim unrelated in product meaning compared with a nonsuggestive brand name. Implications of these findings for marketers with respect to advertising strategies and the optimal use of meaningful brand names in building and managing brand equity are discussed. Full Text (7137  words)| Copyright American Marketing Association Jan 1998 [Headnote]| Kevin Lane Keller, Susan E. Heckler, & Michael J. Houston| [Headnote]|

The authors report the results of a laboratory experiment examining the effects of the meaningfulness of brand names on recall of advertising. The findings indicate that a brand name explicitly conveying a product benefit (e.g., PicturePerfect televisions) leads to higher recall of an advertised benefit claim consistent in meaning with the brand name compared with a nonsuggestive brand name (e.g., Emporium televisions). Conversely, a suggestive brand name leads to lower recall of a subsequently advertised benefit claim unrelated in product meaning (e.g., superior sound) compared with a nonsuggestive brand name. The authors discuss implications of these findings for marketers with respect to advertising strategies and the optimal use of meaningful brand names in building and managing brand equity.| Brand names come in many different forms-they can be based on real people, places, animals, birds, things, and objects or just be made up. The choice of a brand name has been suggested as one important means to build brand equity for a new product (Aaker 1991, 1996; Keller 1993, 1998). Choosing the proper brand name-often the centerpiece of introductory marketing programs-can enhance brand awareness and/or help create a favorable brand image for a newly introduced product. Recognizing the important and complex role of brand names as part of marketing strategy, several different possible criteria have been proposed for choosing brand names to build brand equity (Robertson 1987).One often-noted branding objective is to choose "inherently meaningful" brand names, so that the name itself conveys relevant product information. Brand names can be made meaningful in a variety of different ways. For example, brand names can be chosen to reinforce semantically the corresponding product category (e.g., Lean Cuisine lowcalorie frozen foods, JustJuice juices, Newsweek weekly news magazine) or a particular attribute or benefit making up the main selling point of a brand (e.g., DieHard auto batteries, Mop'n Glow floor cleaner, Beautyrest mattresses). The first branding strategy should enhance brand name awareness and identification with the product category. Our interest is in the second branding strategy-which we refer to as choosing a "suggestive" brand name-and its costs and benefits.To illustrate some of the key issues involved with suggestive brand names, assume that a new brand of luggage is to be positioned initially as "durable." In such a case, is it easier to develop a strong brand image initially by giving it a brand name suggestive of that positioning, such as LifeLong, compared with giving it a nonsuggestive brand name, such as Ocean? On the basis of an associative strength theory of memory, we argue that judiciously choosing suggestive brand names can facilitate initial brand positioning. Under the same scenario, if the brand later were to be...
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