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Creating ethical brands: the role of brand name on consumer perceived ethicality

Richard R. Klink () and Lan Wu ()
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Richard R. Klink: Loyola University Maryland
Lan Wu: California State University

Marketing Letters, 2017, vol. 28, issue 3, 411-422

Abstract: Abstract A critical component of brand equity is consumer perceived ethicality (CPE) of the brand. Yet, little is known about how to create positive brand CPE. We offer that the starting point for creating brand CPE is with the brand-naming decision. Drawing on sound symbolism theory, we propose that certain brand name characteristics better convey ethicality. Two studies are conducted. Study 1 finds that higher frequency sounds in brand names better convey ethicality than lower frequency sounds. Study 2 finds that brand names can positively impact brand CPE in the presence of additional information, in particular, information that reflects negatively on the brand’s ethical behavior. These results suggest that marketers be more involved at the onset of creating an ethical brand image.

Keywords: Branding; Ethicality; Brand name; Sound symbolism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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