A Good Name For a Company. What Is The Strength Of “Female” Brands?
The top brands on the Global Top Brands list over the past twenty years are more likely to have names that have a feminine connotation instead of “male” brands, which tend to be ranked lower. Case? We do not think so, and the latest research confirms this.
Whether we like it or not, we see the world through the prism of all sorts of stereotypes. As shown by the latest research by scientists from the University of Calgary, University of Montana, HEC Paris, and the University of Cincinnati, one of them is transferring associations related to women or men to the female or male names of various companies.
Was Copernicus a woman?
The matter is, on the surface, quite simple: a study in the United States called Is Nestlé, a Woman? The advantages of a female brand name showed that associations with the fair sex did indeed positively impact the perception of the company by consumers. If we go deeper into this topic, it turns out that things get complicated – for now, however, let’s explore the mechanism itself.
According to scientists, female company names are associated with warmth, kindness, and honesty. This, in turn, means that in the case of “female” brands, consumers more willingly make purchasing decisions and more often choose companies with names associated with the fair sex. The experiment confirmed this, and the participants were much more likely to indicate just this type of brand, both the actual and imaginary ones, with which they had not dealt before.
What does a “female” company name mean?
First of all, it doesn’t have to be a real female name. The researchers also emphasize that the perception of individual brands may differ depending on the region of the world or the cultural context; for example, in the United States, the “Disney” brand is perceived as typically female, unlike in Poland.
The study, of course, concerned the English language, but some basic rules seem similar: if a brand is to be associated with the fair sex, it should have at least two or better even more syllables and end in a vowel. Male names are shorter, usually one or two syllables, and also end in consonants. Of course, any rule, including this rule, can have many exceptions, but it usually works.
In the end, however, there is a “but.”
Although the statistics do not lie, and the average position of companies with names associated with more femininity is higher in the Global Top Brands ranking than “male” brands, it does not mean that it is an ideal choice, regardless of the circumstances. Research has shown that “female” company names show their greatest advantage when offering products associated with pleasure (understood, of course, very broadly). With a more neutral offer (e.g., shoes or clothes used by representatives of both sexes), both groups of names turn out to be similarly effective, while in the case of strictly functional products, “male” brands turn out to be better. In other words, if you are selling chocolate, think of some pretty feminine company name. Conversely, when you offer tractors to your customers, a female brand may not be the best choice.
Thus, the study confirmed how strongly various types of stereotypes also affect the business sphere. You can disagree with it or even fight it, but you have to consider it when choosing a new brand or company name.