The “Unofficial” Names: Brand Nicknames, Their Influence on Consumer-Brand Relationships and as Relationship Indicators in Online Communication



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Brand nicknames (e.g., Big Blue for IBM, Chevy for Chevrolet, Rollie for Rolex) are a common marketplace phenomenon. Marketers, however, hold polarized views about whether a brand should adopt or restrict the use of brand nicknames, and little academic research has shed light on this debate. With two essays, this dissertation investigates (1) the effects of brand nickname use on forging the consumer-brand relationship, and, (2) brand nickname use as a linguistic cue to signal brand attachment in a social environment such as online reviews, and its influence on perceived information authenticity of the marketing information. This dissertation contributes to the marketing literature by highlighting the importance of brand nickname use in the marketplace and extends the concept of brand attachment to the domain of consumers’ social interaction. It also offers insights into brand trademark loss and the management of brand social media profiles and online reviews.



Brand Nicknames, Branding, Brand Relationship


Portions of this document appear in: Zhang, Zhe, and Vanessa M. Patrick. "Call Me Rollie! The Role of Brand Nicknames in Shaping Consumer-Brand Relationships." Journal of the Association for Consumer Research 3, no. 2 (2018): 147-162.