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Bouba and Kiki Effect: How it Can Help Small Businesses’

Is it rude to assume? In this case: no. As a business, your audience is always perceiving you a certain way because of how you present your brand. So, for your business’s brand – yes – they should judge a book by it’s cover. That’s where the Bouba and Kiki effect comes in, to demonstrate how people associate different things with different shapes, sounds, colours, speeds or textures. You might have seen our blog post about colour psychology already, but the Bouba and Kiki effect is conceptually similar, because it analyses how your customers will think. If you’re a small business, then you need to keep reading to find out more; look into how you can take the bouba and kiki effect into consideration for your business’s marketing strategy. Let’s dive in and begin… 

What is the Bouba and Kiki effect?

It’s really interesting to think about the concept behind audience perception. Which is which – which one do you think is bouba and kiki from the below image?

Bouba & Kiki

98% of people name the sharp edged shape on the left as kiki and the round edged shape on the right as bouba. Did you?

This shows how we tend to consistently assign a sharp word to a spiky object. It suggests that the way that we map sounds onto objects isn’t actually random in a lot of situations. The bouba and Kiki effect demonstrates how the mind associates the integration of shapes and sound, so in this case, you can start to think about how that can affect your marketing strategy and what it says about your brand. 

So, what does that mean for small businesses?

It’s interesting to think exactly how your audience perceives you. That could be by your logo, images, colour scheme; there are always prejudged assumptions that could be the reason for potential customers.

If you think about how the bouba and kiki effect works on the mind of your audience, then think about how you want to be perceived. We’ve spoken about brand consistency before, but I think that the Bouba and Kiki effect really highlights that. If people can associate shapes and language together so easily, then think about how your tone of voice, name of your company and language you use matches your images and logo. 

What small businesses can do about the Bouba and Kiki effect

Thinking about the Bouba and Kiki effect is beneficial for your marketing strategy because it can help you to understand brand concepts. What will your audience associate your logo with? Does the sound of your company name match the logo? There’s so many different questions that you can ask to benefit the brand of your business. Who knew that two little shapes could cause such a big discussion?

We help small businesses build their brand and grow their company. Say hello and chat to us for more information!

Bouba & Kiki
Author: Amy Williams
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