Is it the 'Alpha' or the 'Numeric'?: Consumers’ Evaluation of Letter versus Number Changes in Alphanumeric Brand Names

JOURNAL OF BRAND MANAGEMENT (Forthcoming)

35 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2015

See all articles by Selcan Kara

Selcan Kara

University of Connecticut

Kunter Gunasti

Washington State University

William T. Ross

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: August 10, 2015

Abstract

This paper, in five experiments, delineates the effects of alpha and numeric components of alphanumeric brand names (ANBs), by demonstrating the effects of disparities in processing between letter and number sequences on consumers’ brand evaluations. Findings show (i) ascending letters in ANBs (from D10 to E10) lead to more favorable evaluations of line extensions than descending letters in ANBs (from D10 to C10), (ii) line extensions are evaluated more favorably when a line extension ANB is formed with a change in number (from A70 to A80) (vs. a change in letter) (from A70 to B70) for an existing ANB, (iii) consumers’ tendency to align brand numbers with product advancements mediates the relative effects of numbers vs. letters in brand names and (iv) the observed effects are robust to differences in stimuli and context.

Keywords: Alphanumeric brand names, number cognition, letter cognition, alignability, Selective Accessibility Model, anchoring

Suggested Citation

Kara, Selcan and Gunasti, Kunter and Ross, William T., Is it the 'Alpha' or the 'Numeric'?: Consumers’ Evaluation of Letter versus Number Changes in Alphanumeric Brand Names (August 10, 2015). JOURNAL OF BRAND MANAGEMENT (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2641626

Selcan Kara

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Kunter Gunasti (Contact Author)

Washington State University ( email )

386 Todd Addition
Carson School of Business
Pullman, WA Whitman 99164
United States
5093354833 (Phone)

William T. Ross

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

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