According to the marketing literature on sound symbolism, ‘‘K’’ is overrepresented as the initial letter in top brand names relative to the frequency with which it appears as the initial letter of words in the English dictionary. However, it is now 35 years since the original study on ‘the K-effect’ was published and there is, of course, a possibility that trends have changed during that time. Using the Top 200 company names from the Fortune 500 list, and comparing the initial letter-frequency to two benchmarks (i.e. the relative frequencies of first letters of words in the English dictionary and Card and Eckler’s (1975) derived letter-frequencies), our analyses (using conservative Bonferroni corrections) reveal, in fact, that A and J are overrepresented as initial letters in top company names, while S is underrepresented. We argue that the paucity of company names starting with the letter K, and the fact that K is thought to be unique, may reflect an opportunity for those starting new companies.
It is often said that our perception of wine varies as a function of the receptacle in which it is presented. Indeed, glassware has been the subject of extensive study in this category. By contrast, the impact of glassware on the perception of beer has been largely ignored in the field of sensory science research. The current study was specifically designed to investigate the influence of the shape (specifically side curvature) of the glass on people’s perception of beer. Fifty-three Australian participants rated (on 10-point Likert scales) a beer presented in one of two glasses. The beer was perceived as being fruitier and more intense when served in a curved-sided glass. Given previous research showing that people match fruitiness with curvature (rather than straightness/angularity), these results fit within the existing literature on crossmodal correspondences between shape and taste properties.