This research shows that round numbers (e.g., 10, 50, 100) are strongly associated with completeness perceptions and consumers view them as thresholds for reaching certain completeness levels. In nine empirical studies, we demonstrate that round numbers in brand names, i.e., Round Alphanumeric Brand names (RABs) are overrepresented due to their strong association with product completeness. We find that RABs lead to favorable product evaluations and increased preferences. We examine alternative explanations based on other number properties including magnitude, divisibility, popularity, and familiarity and show that the effects of RABs on consumer responses are only mediated by the perception of product completeness.
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The authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to William T. Ross Jr. for his valuable insights. The authors would also like to thank Robin Coulter, Keith Coulter, Hans Baumgartner, Rajesh Bagchi, and Adam Brasel for their comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. This research was partially funded by the University of Connecticut Summer Research Grant provided to the first author.
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