Why All Seagulls Look as Though They Were Named Emma: Part 2

The German author of Gestalt Psychology, Wolfgang Köhler believed that words communicated meanings far beyond their definition, simply based on how they sounded when pronounced. To test his theory, he presented a group of subjects with two different shapes (seen below) and asked them which one represented the nonsense word, “takete” and which one represented “maluma.”

The large majority of the respondents agreed that “malumas” were soft, round shapes, like the one on the left, while “taketes” were sharp, jagged shapes, like the one on the right.

But why should you care? Because the sound of a word carries almost as much meaning as the definition of that word. Think about the implication that that could have on your business.   Let’s say you’re opening a day spa that’s supposed to be relaxing and soothing, but you name it “Tekete.” Might people assume that your massages aren’t relaxing because the word sounds sharp? When considering your company name, your product names, or even your domain name, be sure to think about the sounds of the words that you choose and reflect on whether or not they line up with the feeling that you want your customers to have when they hear your name. Hope that helps.

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