Sound Symbolism will Affect your Brand Perception!!
Published on October 25, 2017 in Marketing

If you have ever noticed that some words actually sounds like what they mean. Even certain words which are not onomatopoeic for example, the word "Freeze" has nearly the effect of freezing.

Have a look at the two shapes below. Can you tell which one is "Kiki" and which one is "Bouba" ???

Image result for bouba-kiki

If your answer is, the left one is Kiki and the right one is Bouba then congratulations your judgements aligns with the 90% of the people.

The question here is that what makes it so obvious judgement? How come a pointy shape is Kiki and round soft one is Bouba? This phenomenon is known as Sound Symbolism which suggests that sounds of the word provide certain cues about its meaning.

How Does Sound Symbolism Affect your Business??

This means that People are creating a relationship with your Brand name before they even recognise what you offer. So it's vital to choose a Brand name which is extremely suitable for your Brand.

There are other investigations conducted to demonstrate the same phenomena. One such study was done in 2004 at the University of Texas, San Antonio in which respondents were told to consider "Braddo" and "Briddo" as the names of the two cars and they were asked to tell which one is SUV and which one is convertible. If your answer is Braddo being SUV and Briddo is Convertible, then you are in the majority. This study concluded that placement of vowels in the word makes the difference. Back vowels are judged to be heavier and slower than front vowels.

Although Sound Symbolism is not a new phenomenon, its impact on Brand name is not widely researched or we can say that its still in its infancy.

To sum this all up, I would conclude that "NAMES MATTER". The global market is becoming more challenging and competitive every day and hence for new startups or the companies planning to launch a new product, it's vital that their brand name comprises of sounds that are compatible with their message.