This European research is what we in the U.S. like to call… stupid.
New research from the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that we pick certain brand names for an entirely narcissistic reason – because they contain letters of the alphabet that are in our own name. The theory is an extension of the 'name letter effect,' which has demonstrated that people indeed like the letters in their name more so than others letters. The current research extends this phenomenon to consumerism and defines 'name letter branding,' which shows a connection between a consumer's name and the brands one chooses.
"In our experiments, respondents were more likely to choose a brand, when its name included name letters than when it did not," write C. Miguel Brendl (INSEAD Social Science Research Center, Austria)…
…Brendl and colleagues said they found name letter branding influences choices only under one of two conditions: Either consumers have a need to enhance their self-esteem because of a threatening situation or when consumers have to have a product relevant need, for example a need to drink when choosing a beverage.
Forget mass customization of products. The future of marketing is apparently mass customization of the message. Give a product a different name depending on the name of the person you are selling it to. Of course, that makes word of mouth advertising a bit difficult.
Maybe this explains why alphabet soup is a best seller.