September 25, 2007
Product Naming: Would You Buy a Himmer?
Strategic Name Development conducted proprietary consonant research that found certain consonants have meaningful association in consumers' minds.
For example, B and C were seen as less complex (think Bounty and Cheerios), while X was considered innovative and L and V were rated more feminine.
Similarly, researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio recently found that vowel sounds are linked to certain adjectives, and can influence the way people see a product based on its name.
For instance, front vowel sounds (like the "i" in mill) are associated with ideas like small, fast, sharp, light, hard and angular. Back vowel sounds (think "a" in mall) connote adjectives such as large, slow, dull, heavy, soft and round.
In this study, 70% of respondents chose a name with a back vowel for the SUV product name, while 66% selected a sharper sounding front vowel name for the knife product name.
I had the opportunity to weigh in on the ability of a product name's sound to make or break the product.
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