Using sublexical priming to enhance brand name phonetic symbolism effects in young children

Stacey M. Baxter*, Jasmina Ilicic, Alicia Kulczynski, Tina M. Lowrey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine whether phonetic symbolism effects are conditional on the development of phonological awareness (an ability to recognize sounds in words). Further, we introduce sublexical priming as a means to enhance phonetic symbolism effects. Across four experiments, we demonstrate that product evaluations, consistent with phonetic symbolism theory, are more (less) likely when a child is older (younger). Specifically, older children who can recognize sounds in words perceive back vowel brand names (e.g., Vopoz) as slower, heavier, larger, smoother, creamier, chewier, and thicker than brand names with front vowel sounds (e.g., Vipiz). In addition, we show that phonetic symbolism effects manifest when younger children (low in phonological awareness) are primed to focus on parts of a word/s, which we term sublexical priming. We present embedded tasks and chunking of brand names as strategic communication techniques that can be implemented as sublexical primes to enhance phonetic symbolism effects in younger children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-577
Number of pages13
JournalMarketing Letters
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Phonetic symbolism
  • Phonological awareness
  • Priming
  • Sublexical

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