Original Empirical Research

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 456-470

First online:

Brand related information as context: the impact of brand name characteristics on memory and choice

  • Sridhar SamuAffiliated withIndian School of Business Email author 
  • , H. Shanker KrishnanAffiliated withMarketing Department, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

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Consumer exposure to new brand names can occur in contexts with or without brand information being present. Whereas previous research has examined the effects of brand name characteristics (association set size and word frequency) on memory in the presence of brand information, this paper also assesses brand name effects in contexts without brand related information and extends it to brand consideration and choice. Two different processes are found to be operating as consumers retrieve brands and make a choice. Recall seems to benefit from a distinctiveness based route, which also guides consideration and choice. In contrast, implicit memory is influenced by familiarity, with corresponding consideration and choice effects. The implications are that firms’ choice of brand names and media needs to consider the combination of brand name characteristics that will lead to desired outcomes vis-à-vis distinctiveness or familiarity based processes.


Brand names Memory and recall Implicit memory Brand associations Brand consideration Brand choice