Does Brand Name Imprinting in Memory Increase Brand Information Retention?.

William Baker, The University of Akron


This article introduces and explores the concept of brand name imprinting. Brand name imprinting is the process of creating and strengthening the brand name node in the brand memory network through brand name exposure. Brand name imprinting at a time prior to the presentation of specific brand information is posited to improve the retention of that information by strengthening the association between the brand name and brand information. The effect is proposed to be automatic and independent of other known means to strengthen memory associations (e.g., level of attention, cognitive elaboration, stimuli vividness, and stimuli distinctiveness). This research also proposes that brand names with neutral meaning better facilitate the imprinting effect, because they do not carry perceptual baggage that can interfere with the creation of new brand name–information associations. An experiment involving brand name imprinting and the learning of brand information supports these assertions. Implications for communication strategy and brand name selection are discussed. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.