Orthographic and categorical similarity of brand names: A source of memory interference

Sarah Griffiths (2010). Orthographic and categorical similarity of brand names: A source of memory interference Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Sarah Griffiths
Thesis Title Orthographic and categorical similarity of brand names: A source of memory interference
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Humphreys, Michael S.
Total pages 78
Abstract/Summary Trademark infringement litigation is becoming increasingly commonplace, where one company is seen to have produced a brand so similar to an existing product that the consumer may be vulnerable to confusion (Howard, Kerin & Gengler, 2000). The aim of the current study was to operationalise brand similarity in order to determine what aspects of this construct cause memory interference within the context of trademark infringement. The combined effects of orthographic brand name and product category similarity were examined through the following conditions: similar name/same product category; similar name/different product category; and different sounding names/same product category. All brands had been pre-tested to be familiar to a demographic of first-year psychology students. For the focal experiment, an adapted Overton and Adolphson (1979) paradigm was used to measure levels of interference produced by similarity conditions. It was hypothesised that for all similarity conditions, once participants learned to associate a brand and an adjective, if a competing brand was subsequently presented, rate of adjective recall would be poorer than when no competing product was presented. It was hypothesised that this effect would be largest for the similar name/same product category condition. Consistent with hypotheses, rate of adjective recall was significantly worse when interference was present for the similar name/same product category condition than when it was absent. No significant differences between presence and absence of interference for the similar name/different product category condition or the different name/same product category condition were found. These findings build a foundation for further psychological research into brand similarity. This is necessary in order to protect both brand owners and consumers from the potentially negative effects of consumer brand confusion.

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Created: Wed, 06 Apr 2011, 15:52:21 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology