Marketing Letters

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 5-20

First online:

Creating Brand Names With Meaning: The Use of Sound Symbolism

  • Richard R. KlinkAffiliated withThe Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J. School of Business and Management, Loyola College in Maryland

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The staggering level and rate of growth of brands being introduced to the marketplace suggests a heightened need to understand how to create effective new brand names. Limited academic research, however, has been conducted in this area. This paper investigates the use of linguistics, specifically sound symbolism, in order to create brand names with inherent meaning. Results of two studies indicate that the sound of a brand name can communicate information about the product, e.g. its size, speed, strength, weight, etc. Brand name sounds can convey product-related information either in the presence or absence of supporting marketing communications.

Brand names linguistics sound symbolism