What’s in a Name?

November 8, 2010by hiebing2021

Pretend for a moment that your name is Laura. You live in Louisville, and you’re a lawyer. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Since people possess positive associations about themselves, they prefer things that are connected to their self. Like, say, the letters in their name.

Studies show that “implicit egotism” plays a role in two major life decisions: Where people choose to live and what people choose to do for a living. People are disproportionately likely to live in places and choose careers whose names resemble their own first or last names. For example, more Denises are dentists, more Georges study geography and people named Louis are more likely to live in St. Louis. It seems only natural since, naturally, our names are strongly associated with our identity.

As a marketer, you might be wondering if that means more Sarahs buy Skippy and more Jans buy Jiffy? Interestingly, yes. People are more likely to choose a brand when the name starts with the first letter from their names than when the brand name does not. While there may not be one name that appeals to everyone, a name is just one of many ways to make a brand more relatable to consumers.

So what’s in a name? More than you might realize.

My name is Katie. No wonder my favorite candy bar is a Kit-Kat.

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