Tuesday, September 01, 2015

UTSA study analyzes effects of word sounds on children's brand preferences

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(Sept. 25, 2012) -- Tina M. Lowrey, UTSA professor of marketing in the College of Business, and Stacey Baxter, a University of Newcastle professor, have completed research that suggests that the sound of a word influences children's brand preferences. The article, "Phonetic Symbolism and Children's Brand Name Preferences," was published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing.

Three experiments were conducted with children age five to 12 years old to examine their preferences for a brand name based on sounds. Experiment one examined their preference for a brand name based on the words used to describe the product. Experiment two extended this research across product categories to look at brand name preferences related to a product's features. Finally, experiment three investigated the interaction between pure phonetic symbolism, or the sound of a word, and its actual meaning.

The research suggested that children make specific associations between sounds and brand/product attributes. The findings also showed that children prefer brand names where the vowel sound is similar to the product's attributes. Front vowel sounds, vowel sounds made when the tongue is positioned in the front of the mouth, were preferred for products perceived to be small and light.

It also was determined that back vowel sounds, vowel sounds made when the tongue is positioned in the back of the mouth, were preferred for products perceived as big and heavy. The researchers suggest that marketers should consider these relationships between vowel sounds and a brand's characteristics when choosing a brand name.

"By conducting these in-depth studies regarding the correlation between a word's sounds and children's brand preferences, we hope to have an impact on the process by which marketers choose inventive and distinct brand names," said Lowrey.

Nationally ranked and recognized, the UTSA College of Business is accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It is one of the 40 largest business schools in the nation with 6,000 enrolled students and 37 graduate and undergraduate business programs. The college is dedicated to raising its academic profile to become one of the best business schools recognized for developing "Knowledge for a New World." For more information, call 210-458-4313.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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