Buyer Beware of Your Shadow: a Dual Process Explanation of Name Letter Branding and Avoidance

Luke Kachersky, Fordham University, USA
Sankar Sen, Baruch College, CUNY, USA
It has been shown that people subconsciously gravitate toward brand names that resemble their own. For example, Matt prefers Mars Candy. We propose a process explanation that casts this effect as automatic, and suggests the opposite is possible, that motivated consumers can be repelled by name letter brands. Drawing from literature on self-protection and the heuristic-systematic model, we hypothesize that motivation determines the direction of influence of name letter brands. We show that experimental participants with the motivation and ability to self-protect avoid name letter brands, while those whose ability to self-protect has been subverted persist in their name letter brand preference.
[ to cite ]:
Luke Kachersky and Sankar Sen (2010) ,"Buyer Beware of Your Shadow: a Dual Process Explanation of Name Letter Branding and Avoidance", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 635-636 .