The Brevity Effect in New Product Labels: When Does Linguistic Fluency Affect Consumers’ Responses to New Products?

Manoj Thomas, Cornell University, USA
Thibault Maitre, Cornell University, USA
Results from laboratory and field studies show that, under specifiable conditions, products with shorter labels are evaluated more favorably than those with longer labels. We refer to this as the brevity effect. Although the brevity effect is caused by linguistic fluency, brevity-induced linguistic fluency does not always increase preference for the stimulus. The effect manifests only when brevity-induced linguistic fluency is surprising. People find brevity-induced linguistic fluency to be surprising when an unfamiliar stimulus is fluent, or when a familiar stimulus in an unfamiliar context is fluent.
[ to cite ]:
Manoj Thomas and Thibault Maitre (2010) ,"The Brevity Effect in New Product Labels: When Does Linguistic Fluency Affect Consumers’ Responses to New Products?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 187-190 .