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Service firms can use sensory cues to provide a perception of luxury in terms of quality and service. In the area of destination branding, brand names are one of the core elements of brands that help communicate their image to a consumer in the hospitality and tourism sector. Psycholinguistics research demonstrates that linguistic cues embedded within brand names can be used to convey the image of a brand. Relying on the latest literature on psycholinguistics, branding, and hospitality services, the present study investigates the sounds and/or letters present in fictional brand names that may enhance their perception of luxury. The results demonstrate that higher-frequency sounds (e.g., i, e, f, s, v, z) appear to increase the perception of luxury brands more than lower-frequency sounds (e.g., u, o, b, d, g). Among various speech sounds, the letter v in names also increases the intention to visit luxury hospitality services (restaurants, hotels). These findings demonstrate how brands in the hospitality and tourism sectors can use certain linguistic features to signal their perception of luxury to tourists.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Destination Marketing and Management

Publication Date