The feminine brand name advantage


Brands with linguistically feminine names are more likely to convey warmth which, in turn, can improve brand performance, according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing. 

Why it matters

A brand’s name often forms a customer’s first impression of a product or service and marketers should understand how the perceived gender of a brand’s name impacts its performance.


  • The majority of brands in the annual Best Global Brands rankings published by Interbrand, the consultancy, between 2010 and 2019 had linguistically feminine names.
  • Linguistically feminine names increase the consumer perception of ‘warmth’, which positively impacts brand attitudes and brand choice, thereby improving brand performance. 
  • The feminine brand name advantage is neutralised when the typical consumer of the brand is male, and the product is utilitarian.


  • This research was based on analysis of brand names and consumer panel feedback and was conducted by Ruth Pogacar (University of Calgary), Justin Angle (University of Montana) and Tina M. Lowrey (HEC Paris).

This article first appeared in

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