Conceptual Framework and Hypotheses

When we ask consumers to name brands in a category, do they spontaneously mention all the brands they know? Semantic verbal fluency is the ability of a person to say as many words as possible from a semantic category learnt over his or her lifetime (the classic example being the category of "animals").1 We investigate Brand verbal fluency, which we define in a similar way as a consumer's ability to name as many brands as possible in the specific semantic category constituted by a product category. Brand verbal fluency is a critical determinant of brand search and consideration across most choice situations, be they on the Internet or in a supermarket (Edelman, 2010; Nedungadi, 1990; Shocker, Ben Akiva, Boccara, & Nedungadi, 1991). Previous research (Ellis, Holmes, & Wright, 2010; Lambert-Pandraud, Laurent, Mullet, & Yoon, 2017) has analyzed which brands consumers know as a function of age and other variables. In this article, our focus is different: given that a consumer knows a brand, what is the likelihood that the brand will come to mind?