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New research: Products with human names may not be good marketing

April 26, 2013

Psychology professor Kendall Eskine, Ph.D.

Loyola University New Orleans psychology professor Kendall Eskine, Ph.D., and student William H. Locander pose the question, are consumers more likely to trust a product when branded with a human name? The research—to be published in an upcoming issue of peer-reviewed journal Psychology and Marketing—points out that personifying products may actually make consumers trust them less.

Eskine and Locander tracked the study of participants’ reactions to products named Patricia’s Computers versus Precise Computers, and Wristwatches by Thomas versus Wristwatches by Timekept, for example. While products with human names were judged as less trustworthy, this effect was only found for those who generally mistrusted company values, according to the research.

Psychology & Marketing publishes original research and review articles dealing with the application of psychological theories and techniques to marketing. Eskine and Locander’s paper will be published in a special issue on brand personification.

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