Do Brand Names in a Foreign Language Lead to Different Brand Perceptions?
Do brand names in a foreign language lead to different brand perceptions?
Laura Salciuviene, Lancaster University, UK Pervez N. Ghauri, Kings College London, UK Ruth Salomea Streder, Lewis-Global Public Relations, UK Claudio De Mattos, Manchester Business School, UK
Abstract This study examines the effects of brand names in a foreign language, country of origin, and the incongruence between the two on brand perceptions of services. Employing congruity and categorisation theory as a theoretical foundation, this study empirically tests a number of hypotheses. The findings suggest that services with a French brand name are perceived as more hedonic. In the context of hedonic services, the incongruence between brand names in a foreign language and country of origin leads to increased perceptions of services as more hedonic. In the context of utilitarian services, the same incongruence leads to higher perceived suitability and preference for brand names in a foreign language. The paper concludes with research and managerial implications for brand managers and further research directions. Keywords brand names in foreign languages; hedonic/utilitarian brand perceptions; brand name suitability; brand name preferences; services industry
Prior research in the domain of brand management suggests that brand names are key indicators of the products that have become an imperative asset that influences consumer brand perceptions in today’s highly competitive environment (Ailawadi & Keller, 2004). Brand names simplify consumer choices by helping them to recognise products more easily (Friedman, 1985). Well-chosen brand names contribute to the strength of the product. Brand names that are associated with positive attributes score higher on overall liking (Kohli & Harich, 2005). Moreover, sounds (phonetic structure) of brand names may affect consumer attitudes (Yorkston & Menon, 2004).