Can a name, by itself, spur consumer affection for a product?
That's what University of Oklahoma retail economist James Kenderdine wondered in appraising the Osage Nation's rebranding of its seven casinos.
On Thursday afternoon, Tulsa Marketing Director Jennifer Bighorse announced the decision to relabel the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino brand as simply Osage Casino.
"After spending time talking to guests and conducting research, they told us time and time again that the name Osage Casino was how they most commonly referred to our casinos," she said in an e-mail. "We feel this new name gives our brand a more modern and attractive look and feel and makes our guests feel proud to game with us."
In an evening e-mail, Kenderdine said that change made sense if it truly reflected how people refer to the tribe's seven casinos.
"A business's name and logo are the tangible anchors to which customers link their intangible judgments about the business," said Kenderdine, professor emeritus of marketing and supply chain management at OU's Michael F. Price College of Business. "Evoke the name in their mind, and you also evoke all their perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and emotions linked to the name. …