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The effects of uppercase and lowercase wordmarks on brand perceptions


  • Xiaobing Xu

    (Nankai University)

  • Rong Chen

    (Tsinghua University)

  • Maggie Wenjing Liu

    () (Tsinghua University)


Abstract Although frequently altered by companies in logo redesign, upper and lowercase wordmarks have never been studied in marketing literature. This research investigates the influence of using a specific lettering case in a wordmark on consumer brand perceptions. Across two studies, the authors find that psychologically, consumers feel closer to lowercase wordmarks, which increase perceptions of brand friendliness compared with the uppercase wordmarks. On the other hand, compared with lowercase wordmarks, consumers perceive a higher level of strength from uppercase wordmarks, resulting in an increased perception of brand authority. Additionally, the authors find that this lettering case effect is mitigated when the wordmark design is complex versus when it is simple. Finally, the implications of these findings are discussed regarding brand visual stimuli and brand image communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaobing Xu & Rong Chen & Maggie Wenjing Liu, 2017. "The effects of uppercase and lowercase wordmarks on brand perceptions," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 449-460, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11002-016-9415-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-016-9415-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tina M. Lowrey & L. J. Shrum, 2007. "Phonetic Symbolism and Brand Name Preference," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 406-414, June.
    2. Johan Rekom & Gabriele Jacobs & Peeter Verlegh, 2006. "Measuring and managing the essence of a brand personality," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 181-192, July.
    3. Doyle, John R. & Bottomley, Paul A., 2004. "Font appropriateness and brand choice," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 873-880, August.
    4. M. Brengman & M. Geuens, 2003. "The Four Dimensional Impact Of Color On Shoppers’ Emotions," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/204, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. Giese, Joan L. & Malkewitz, Keven & Orth, Ulrich R. & Henderson, Pamela W., 2014. "Advancing the aesthetic middle principle: Trade-offs in design attractiveness and strength," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 1154-1161.
    6. Janiszewski, Chris & Meyvis, Tom, 2001. " Effects of Brand Logo Complexity, Repetition, and Spacing on Processing Fluency and Judgment," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 18-32, June.
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