Going to great lengths in the pursuit of luxury: How longer brand names can enhance the luxury perception of a brand
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonPsychology & Marketing. 2019 10.1002/mar.21247
Brand names are a crucial part of the brand equity and marketing strategy of any company. Research suggests that companies spend considerable time and money to create suitable names for their brands and products. This paper uses the Zipf's law (or Principle of Least Effort) to analyze the perceived luxuriousness of brand names. One of the most robust laws in linguistics, Zipf's law describes the inverse relationship between a word's length and its frequency i.e., the more frequently a word is used in language, the shorter it tends to be. Zipf's law has been applied to many fields of science and in this paper, we provide evidence for the idea that because polysyllabic words (and brand names) are rare in everyday conversation, they are considered as more complex, distant, and abstract and that the use of longer brand names can enhance the perception of how luxurious a brand is (compared with shorter brand names, which are considered to be close, frequent, and concrete to consumers). Our results suggest that shorter names (mono‐syllabic) are better suited to basic brands whereas longer names (tri‐syllabic or more) are more appropriate for luxury brands.