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How associations between products and numbers in brand names affect consumer attitudes: introducing multi-context numbers

Timucin Ozcan () and Kunter Gunasti
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Timucin Ozcan: Rollins College
Kunter Gunasti: Washington State University

Journal of Brand Management, 2019, vol. 26, issue 2, 176-194

Abstract: Abstract Drawing on numerical cognition research, we identify a set of multi-context numbers (MCN) that originate from the decimal (10), duodecimal (12) and sexagesimal (60) numeral systems frequently used in numerous domains (e.g., 10, 12, 20, 24, 60, 360, 100). We propose and show that inclusion of MCN in alphanumeric brand names (ABN) generates more favorable consumer attitudes and higher preferences for product extensions in different domains. We examine three types of fit, between (1) parent brands and numbers, (2) product categories and numbers and (3) parent brands and product categories. We find that the effects of ABN numbers are mainly mediated by product–number associations. Accordingly, while some numbers that are strongly associated with the product category (e.g., 401 and retirement services) or the parent brand (e.g., Heinz and 57; Levi’s and 501) or that are familiar to consumers (e.g., 18, 21) generate favorable consumer responses in specific contexts, the same numbers fail in other product domains (e.g., 401/57/18/21 taxi service). In four empirical studies, we demonstrate that MCN in ABN can achieve and maintain favorable consumer responses and receive higher preferences than other very familiar numbers in various product extension contexts, regardless of parent brand names or product categories. Our findings suggest that it is ideal to use MCN in new extensions.

Keywords: Numerical processing; Numerical cognition; Brand extensions; Product extensions; Product category fit; Brand names; Alphanumeric (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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