Maria Galli and Gerald Gorn (2011). Unconscious transfer of meaning to brands. Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 21, 215-225
We examine semantic conditioning in a consumer context. We subliminally paired neutral ideographs with attributes. In experiment 1, the ideographs served as primes during a lexical decision task and slowed down response times to target words with the opposite semantic meaning. In experiment 2, the ideographs served as brand names of beverages, and attitudinal responses to them were less favorable when the associated attributes were incongruent with existing schemas. These results showed that semantic conditioning (1) can occur unconsciously, (2) can have significant and meaningful consequences for brand evaluation, and (3) influences subsequent attitudinal responses via conceptual disfluency processes.
Maria Galli is an Assistant Professor at Pompeu Fabra University’s Department of Economics and Business. She teaches Integrated Communications at the Barcelona School of Management. Prof. Galli holds a PhD in Management from INSEAD, France. Her research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.