Alphanumeric brand names

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Alphanumeric brand names are composed of letters and numbers. Examples include 7up, Saks Fifth Ave, Audi A4, Canon A75.[1][2] They may serve as abbreviations (e.g., 3M), indicate model extensions (iPhone 2,3,4,5), symbolize physical product attributes (the v-shaped V8 engine), incorporate technical attributes (AMD32 chips use 32-bit processors), refer to inventory codes or internal design numbers (e.g., Levi's 501).[3]

Gunasti and Ross (2010) define two dimensions of alphanumeric brand names: Link and Alignability as shown in the below table. Link refers to the connection between the brand name and a specific product feature or the product as a whole; whereas alignability is about whether the preferences for a product can be aligned with the numbers included in the brand names in an ascending or descending trend.

Alignability / Link: Linked (to attributes) Non-linked (to specific attributes) or Linked to Overall Product
ALIGNED Ascending Brand Names TECHNICAL SYMBOLISM (AMD32 versus AMD64: 32 vs. 64 bit processing) PRODUCT EXTENSIONS, SERIES, DATE OF RELEASE (Boeing 737, 747; Pentium 2,3,5; Windows 95, 98, 2000)
ALIGNED Descending Brand Names UNDESIRED ATTRIBUTES (Nickles35 bread with only 35 calories) MYTHICAL NUMBERING (Calvin Klein One perfume)
NON-ALIGNED Monotonic Brand Names PREFERENCE DEPENDS ON NEEDS (Coppertone 30, 40, 50) DESIGN CODES (Levi's 501, 505, 607) INVENTORY CODES (unknown to customers)


  1. ^ Gunasti, Kunter; William T Ross (2010). "How and When Alphanumeric Brand Names Affect Consumer Preferences". Journal of Marketing Research 47 (December): 1177. 
  2. ^ Pavia, Teresa A. and Janeen Arnold Costa (1993), “The Winning Number: Consumer Perceptions of Alpha-Numeric Brand Names,” Journal of Marketing, 57 (July), 85–98.
  3. ^ Boyd, Colin W. (1985), “Point of View: Alpha-Numeric BrandNames,” Journal of Advertising Research, 25 (5), 48–52.