Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Brand Names and the Use of Hedonic Symbolism: A Content Analysis of Luxury Cosmetics

Class

Article

College

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Faculty Mentor

Kenneth Bartkus

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Research has long shown that consumers draw inferences from brand names (Peterson and Ross, 1972). Furthermore, effective brand naming can enhance the image of the brand which, in turn, can lead to more favorable perceptions (Kohli and Harich, 2005). In the context of luxury goods (i.e., those defined as prestigious and exclusive), Salciuviene, Ghauri, Streder, and De Mattos (2010) found that using French-sounding names resulted in perceptions of the brand as more hedonic relative to non-French sounding names. Here, the term hedonic reflects feelings of ‘fun, entertainment, fantasy, arousal, motivation, and sensory enjoyment (Babin, et al., 1994; Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982)’ (630, Lim, 2014). In a related study, Ajitha and Sivakumer (2017) found that French-sounding names resulted in both stronger perceptions of hedonic value and more positive attitudes toward the luxury brand. This evidence implies that the use of French-sounding names for luxury brands has the potential to elicit higher perceptions of hedonic value and, consequently, more positive attitudes toward to brand. The purpose of this study is to extend this research by investigating the degree to which this evidence has been adopted by luxury brands. Hume and Mills (2013) have argued that cosmetic products have an inherent hedonic component and, as such, they represent a relevant unit of analysis. Based on a content analysis and comparison of luxury and non-luxury brands of nail polish, the results show that luxury brands use French-sounding names to a much greater extent than non-luxury brands. This is true, not only for French luxury brands, but for American luxury brands as well. These findings provide preliminary evidence that the cosmetic market for luxury nail polish has applied the evidence from the literature to their brand name strategies. Implications and recommendations for further research are provided.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 4:15 PM

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Brand Names and the Use of Hedonic Symbolism: A Content Analysis of Luxury Cosmetics

The South Atrium

Research has long shown that consumers draw inferences from brand names (Peterson and Ross, 1972). Furthermore, effective brand naming can enhance the image of the brand which, in turn, can lead to more favorable perceptions (Kohli and Harich, 2005). In the context of luxury goods (i.e., those defined as prestigious and exclusive), Salciuviene, Ghauri, Streder, and De Mattos (2010) found that using French-sounding names resulted in perceptions of the brand as more hedonic relative to non-French sounding names. Here, the term hedonic reflects feelings of ‘fun, entertainment, fantasy, arousal, motivation, and sensory enjoyment (Babin, et al., 1994; Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982)’ (630, Lim, 2014). In a related study, Ajitha and Sivakumer (2017) found that French-sounding names resulted in both stronger perceptions of hedonic value and more positive attitudes toward the luxury brand. This evidence implies that the use of French-sounding names for luxury brands has the potential to elicit higher perceptions of hedonic value and, consequently, more positive attitudes toward to brand. The purpose of this study is to extend this research by investigating the degree to which this evidence has been adopted by luxury brands. Hume and Mills (2013) have argued that cosmetic products have an inherent hedonic component and, as such, they represent a relevant unit of analysis. Based on a content analysis and comparison of luxury and non-luxury brands of nail polish, the results show that luxury brands use French-sounding names to a much greater extent than non-luxury brands. This is true, not only for French luxury brands, but for American luxury brands as well. These findings provide preliminary evidence that the cosmetic market for luxury nail polish has applied the evidence from the literature to their brand name strategies. Implications and recommendations for further research are provided.