Letter Case Effects (04-08-21)

Yu and colleagues probed the implications of names appearing in UPPERCASE or lowercase letters; their findings are useful to people developing signage, etc.  The Yu-lead team determined via eight experiments that “consumers perceive brands that use all uppercase letters (‘uppercase brands’) as more premium than those that use all lowercase letters (‘lowercase brands’). . . .  The effect is reversed for consumers who prefer subtle signals (‘inconspicuous consumers’) because these consumers are likely to perceive a conspicuous uppercase brand as gaudy. . . . this effect appears only for public products. . . . Public products—those with a consumption context visible to others—support identity communication in the context of socializing; private products, by contrast, are typically consumed away from the public gaze.. . . we propose that the uppercase premium effect will be contingent on the product's social visibility. For privately used products, the uppercase will lose its attention-capturing function, contributing to a null effect on consumers’ conspicuousness perceptions.”

Yining Yu, Xinyue Zhou, Lei Wang, and Qiuzhen Wang.  “Uppercase Premium Effect:  The Role of Brand Letter Case in Brand Premiumness.”  Journal of Retailing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2021.03.002