European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Les Cahiers de Recherche,
HEC Paris

No 1121: Tastlé-Nestlé, Toogle-Google: The Effects of Similarity to Familiar Brand Names in Brand Name Innovation

Tina M Lowrey () and Ann Kronrod

Abstract: When developing new brand names, marketers face the dilemma of how similar their new brand name is or should be to familiar brand names in the market. The current research tests the complete range of conditions exploring how the degree of similarity of a new brand name to an existing one may affect attitudes toward the new brand name. The authors first replicate an inverted-U pattern suggested by congruency theories. However, this result holds only in the case of positive pre-existing attitudes toward familiar brand names. Additional tests demonstrate a U-shaped pattern in the case of negative attitudes toward familiar brand names, and a linear relation between similarity and attitudes in the case of no pre-existing attitudes toward familiar brand names. A field study replicates these findings, testing actual choice of products that bear different levels of resemblance to real positive and negative brand names (Oreo and Spam).

Keywords: Brand name; Branding; Brand attitudes; Similarity; Familiarity; Innovation

36 pages, September 28, 2016

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