Sceptical about the persuasive power of names? Well the work of University of Buffalo behavioural scientist Brett Pelham might change your mind.

It suggests that people:

1) are more likely to agree to requests from people with similar names

2) are attracted to professions in the same way – US dentists are 82 per cent more likely to be named Dennis than expected

3) live in cities that match their birthday number – Three Forks, Montana has a disproportionate number of residents born on March 3 (3/3).

4) live in states/counties/streets that have names like their own

5) marry others who have first or last names similar to theirs (which may explain why Jack and Jill were on that hill).

They also generally prefer products with names that begin with the same letter as that of their own name.

This doesn’t mean that you need to have 26 differently named versions of every product/service to ensure total market coverage.

This doesn’t mean that your product name must start with one of the more popular letters in order to ensure success.

But it does mean that your choice of name can directly and indirectly generate the emotional engagement between consumer and product that is the holy grail of marketers.