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EMAC 2023 Annual

The long & short of it: a warmth-based account of the impact of brand name length on brand equity

Published: May 24, 2023


Ammara Mahmood, Wilfrid Laurier University; Jonathan Luffarelli, Montpellier Business School; mudra mukesh, sussex business school


Branding literature and anecdotal evidence suggest that practitioners should favor using shorter brand names over longer brand names. However, why this ought to be so remains unclear. The authors contribute to knowledge about naming effects by proposing and testing a theory of how and why shorter brand names positively impact brand equity. They establish that shorter (vs. longer) brand names create perceptions of warmth, in turn, these perceptions result in more favorable brand attitude, higher purchase intentions, and better financial performance. These conclusions hold across a hedonic, meaningful and non-meaningful fictitious brands. With these novel findings, this article contributes to branding literature by uncovering a warmth-based mechanism for the link between brand name length and brand equity. It also yields actionable insights and guidelines for crafting effective brand names.