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Creating ethical brands: the role of brand name on consumer perceived ethicality

Author

Listed:
  • Richard R. Klink

    () (Loyola University Maryland)

  • Lan Wu

    () (California State University)

Abstract

Abstract A critical component of brand equity is consumer perceived ethicality (CPE) of the brand. Yet, little is known about how to create positive brand CPE. We offer that the starting point for creating brand CPE is with the brand-naming decision. Drawing on sound symbolism theory, we propose that certain brand name characteristics better convey ethicality. Two studies are conducted. Study 1 finds that higher frequency sounds in brand names better convey ethicality than lower frequency sounds. Study 2 finds that brand names can positively impact brand CPE in the presence of additional information, in particular, information that reflects negatively on the brand’s ethical behavior. These results suggest that marketers be more involved at the onset of creating an ethical brand image.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard R. Klink & Lan Wu, 2017. "Creating ethical brands: the role of brand name on consumer perceived ethicality," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 411-422, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11002-017-9424-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-017-9424-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions: Reply to Shea and Cohn's commentaries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1364-1367, December.
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    8. Richard Klink & Lan Wu, 2014. "The role of position, type, and combination of sound symbolism imbeds in brand names," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 13-24, March.
    9. Jatinder Singh & Oriol Iglesias & Joan Batista-Foguet, 2012. "Does Having an Ethical Brand Matter? The Influence of Consumer Perceived Ethicality on Trust, Affect and Loyalty," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(4), pages 541-549, December.
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    Keywords

    Branding; Ethicality; Brand name; Sound symbolism;

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