Brand verbs: brand synonymity and brand leadership
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Brand names have become verbs and entered in the consumer vocabulary, as doing words that are synonymous to consumer actions. Synonymity brands are observed to be prototypical and consumer-perceived brand leaders by planting a word not only in the consumer minds, but also in the lexicon. Corporate attorneys have ignored this fact by labeling such words as potential candidates to brand genericide and projected risk of trademark loss. The 3-part study aims to explore the concept, define brand synonymity, identify the dimensions, and measure the degree of synonymity—in the first part. The second study empirically tests the relationship between brand synonymity and leadership. The study three brings practical use to address the legal concerns by outlining a continuum to plot brands in safe and risk zones, thereby segregating the marketing play (in safe zone) and attorney’s role (in risk zone). The findings show synonymity brands scoring high in four vital brand dimensions and demonstrate positive relationship with brand leadership. The authors explore this new area of brand research that is not adequately covered by extant literature, to benefit marketing scholars, brand managers, and legal attorneys.
KeywordsBrand verbs Brand synonymity Prototypicality Word of mouth Speech-act verbs Consumer-perceived brand leadership
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Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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