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EMAC 2023 Annual

How to Successfully Design Suggestive Brand Names: An Integrated Psycholinguistic Framework

Published: May 24, 2023


Tobias Langner, University of Wuppertal; Daniel Bruns, University of Wuppertal; John Rossiter, University of Wollongong


Selecting an appropriate brand name is vital to market success. New brand launches are most effective when they use brand names that quickly communicate the brand’s key benefit. In the present paper, we propose a framework based on three psycholinguistic models of conceptual combinations that help marketers design suggestive brand names. Three experiments affirm that all models support the conveyance of the key benefit but they differ in effectiveness and efficiency: overall, brand names based on selective modification perform best, followed by property mapping, then relation linking. Moderation analysis further reveals that effective key benefit conveyance through these models is differently impaired when consumers face limited processing opportunities. Moreover, brand name understandability mediates the models’ effects on consumers’ attitudes toward the brand name. Finally, the attitudinal effects apply beyond the brand name level to overall brand attitudes at the corporate level.