June 02, 2021
Feminine language brands are perceived by consumers as warmer and are therefore better appreciated and more frequently chosen, according to a new university study.
In the paper, “Is Nestlé a woman? The Feminine Brand Name Advantage, ”researchers at the University of Calgary, University of Montana, HEC Paris and the University of Cincinnati said that several factors determine whether a name is perceived as feminine or masculine:
- Female names tend to be longer, have more syllables, stress the second or subsequent syllable, and end with a vowel (eg, Amánda).
- Men’s names tend to be shorter with a stressed syllable, or with an emphasis on the first of two syllables, and end with a consonant (eg, Ed or Edward).
Analyzing the top-ranked brands on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list over the past twenty years, the study found that 55%, including Coca-Cola, Nike, Disney and IKEA, had female names, 36 % had male-sounding names. Nine percent had gender neutral names.
Participants in the studies conducted also rated brands with linguistically feminine names, including coined names, as warmer, thus increasing purchase intentions.
Female-sounding brands have been found to be more attractive because they are associated with traits such as reliability, sincerity, friendliness, tolerance and good nature.
“People tend to treat certain words instinctively, triggering associations they may not be aware of,” said Ruth Pogacar, co-author and professor at the University of Calgary. the the Wall Street newspaper.
The benefit was found to be reduced if the product was designed only for men (e.g. men’s sneakers) and eliminated when the product was strictly functional, such as a bathroom scale.
Brand names represent “a consumer’s first point of contact and can therefore generate initial impressions, associations and expectations,” according to the study.
The internet is full of tips for finding good brands. Lately, search engine optimization, URL competition, and social media appeal have become the main concerns. The study researchers also cite the fact that “as new brands are introduced daily, obtaining a desirable name is a growing challenge due to the limited number of existing words for the brand.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense that female-sounding names have an advantage in attracting consumers? What suggestions do you have for finding brand names?
“While this study is interesting, I find it all a bit unnecessary and strange.”