Is This Product Easy to Control? Liabilities of Using Difficult-To-Pronounce Product Names
Leonhardt, J. M. & Pechmann, C. (2021). Is This Product Easy to Control? Liabilities of Using Difficult-To-Pronounce Product Names. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 165, 90-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2021.04.009.
51 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2021
Date Written: May 01, 2021
This research studied difficult-to-pronounce product names which are prevalent in certain product categories. In study 1, consumers tried golf balls that varied in name pronounceability but were otherwise identical and, despite direct experience, concluded balls with difficult versus easy-to-pronounce names were less controllable and less preferable. In study 2, consumers were asked to look for a dog that was highly (less highly) controllable for an urban (rural) setting, and the dog with the difficult-to-pronounce name was viewed as less controllable because it seemed less familiar and was less preferred for the urban setting. Study 3 verified the effects of difficult-to-pronounce names on familiarity and controllability perceptions and found preference effects among those with high trait desire for control. Study 4 documented the prevalence of difficult-to-pronounce names on a popular ecommerce site for tires. Overall, our findings indicate managers should avoid using difficult-to-pronounce product names when consumers strongly desire product controllability.
Keywords: product names, pronounceability, familiarity, controllability, desire for control
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