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Flashcards in Consumer Psyc 2 & 3 Deck (25)
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What is a brand?

“A type of product manufactured by a particular
company under a particular name: ‘a new brand of
soap powder’” (Oxford Dictionary, from
— A “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature
that identifies one seller's good or service as
distinct from those of other sellers” (American
Marketing Association, from
◦ “branding” cattle
— A brand is a category (Aaker, 1991)
◦ products are elements of the category


Why do brands matter?

Brands are ubiquitous
— Brands influence our economic decisions
— Brands influence our perceptions and
cognitions (e.g., information processing,
inferences, memory):
◦ informational value: heuristic for consumers
that reduces risk
◦ categorisation allows consumers to go beyond
the given information
– Brand labels provide a powerful basis for inferences


What is the evidence for the effects of brand labels?

Peanut butter study (Hoyer & Brown, 1990):
◦ Participants were presented with three brands of
peanut butter
– One was a known brand
◦ Manipulated quality: high quality peanut butter
was placed in the jar of the known brand or one
of the unknown brands
◦ Participants selected a brand and tasted the
peanut butter (5 trials)
◦ Results:
– Strong tendency to select the jar of the known
brand, even when it contained an inferior quality
peanut butter


Chicken nugget study

— Chicken nugget study with children
(Robinson et al., 2007):
◦ unlabelled white package vs. branded package
◦ reported that the nuggets tasted better when
in branded package


Coke vs. Pepsi fMRI study

(McClure et al.,
◦ unlabelled:
– no difference in reported taste
– preference correlated with ventromedial PFC activity
◦ labelled:
– significant preference for sample labelled Coke
– preferences correlated with dorsolateral PFC and
hippocampal activity


What makes us consume a
particular brand?

— We are aware of the brand
— The brand satisfies our psychological
◦ self-definition, self-reflection and self-signalling
◦ uniqueness
◦ belonging
◦ effectance


We are aware of the brand

Brand awareness: familiarity with a brand
— Consists of two components:
◦ recognising the brand
◦ correctly associating it with a particular
— Cultivating brand awareness:
◦ logos
◦ colours
◦ names



— Symbols (including logos) are powerful
◦ they can be used to represent an infinite
number of concepts
◦ we perceive them quickly and effortlessly
– “A picture is worth a thousand words”
— A strong logo can be a double-edged



We detect colour easily (pre-attentive
— Effectiveness of using colour depends on
◦ E.g., basic colours in cluttered vs. uncluttered
environments (Boynton & Smallman, 1990;
Jansson, Bristow, & Marlow, 2004)



Sound symbolism
◦ marketers try to align sounds to their brand/
product e.g., hard vs. soft sounding names,
Blackberry vs. Strawberry
— Fluency:
◦ The extent to which a name is easy to
– Janice Hart is fluent (pronounceable)
– Aurelia Pucinski is disfluent (unpronounceable)

eg. Which would you choose…
— to run a kid’s birthday party?
◦ Zintec Inc.,
◦ Baloomba Inc.

Which shape is the maluma?


Fluency confers advantages

Stocks (Alter & Oppenheimer, 2006):
◦ Study 1 (fabricated stocks): participants
expected stocks with fluent names to
outperform stocks with disfluent names
◦ Study 2 (shares on the NYSE and AMEX):
fluent outperformed disfluent, but only in the
short term
– effect not due to company size or industry
◦ Study 3: replicated Study 2 results using ticker

If you were to invest $1000 in shares with fluent (vs. disfluent)
ticker codes, you’d be better off by $85.35 after 1 day of trading


Why are logos, colours, and names

They provide marketers with multiple
routes to increasing brand awareness
◦ mere exposure effect
— When used effectively, they give brands
public visibility (Berger, 2013)
◦ provides social proof
— Thus, the brand advertises itself!


Brands and the self

— James (1890) highlighted the link between
consumption and the self-concept
— Brands have symbolic meanings
◦ values/purpose
◦ personality


Brand personality

“the set of human characteristics
associated with a brand” (Aaker, 1997, p.
— relatively stable over time, but influenced
by context (“malleable self”; Aaker, 1999)
— creates differentiation between brands,
even when there are few objective
◦ E.g., Absolut vodka vs. Stoli


What is the 5-factor structure of brand
personality? (Aaker, 1997)



Symbolic quality of brands means that we
can use them to:

◦ reflect the self (“I buy a Prius because I see myself
as caring about the environment”)
◦ signal the self (“I buy a Prius to show others I
care about the environment”)
◦ define the self (“I care about the environment
because I bought a Jeep”)
— From age 12, children understand that
brands can signal something about the self
(Chaplin & Roedder John, 2005)
◦ 8 year-olds treated brands as informational and
perceptual cues


— Levels of the self (Brewer & Gardner, 1996):

individual: self as distinct from others
◦ relational: self in relation to close others
◦ collective: self in relation to group memberships


Domains of the self (Higgins, 1987):

◦ actual self: the way we are
◦ ought self: the way we think we should be
◦ ideal self: the way we aspire to be
— Brands can influence, and are influenced by,
these different facets of the self


Self-brand connections

The extent to which a consumer has
incorporated a brand into their self-concept
(e.g., Escalas & Bettman, 2003)
◦ explicit measure (Escalas & Bettman, 2003)
– “this brand reflects who I am”
– “I think this brand helps me become the type of person I
want to be”
– “I use this brand to communicate who I am to other
◦ implicit measure (Brunel et al., 2004)
– reaction time measure to assess strength of association between the brand and “Me”


Self-brand connections

Mac users show stronger associations with
their brand than PC users (Brunel et al.,
— Stronger self-brand connections with
brands associated with the ingroup than
with brands associated with the outgroup
(Escalas & Bettman, 2005)


Brands and the self

— We like brands whose personality is congruent
with our own (Aaker, 1999)
◦ if you consider excitement to central to your selfdefinition,
then you will like exciting brands (e.g.,
— We avoid products or brands that represent
undesired identities or groups
◦ Men avoided a “ladies cut” steak, but not a “chef’s
cut” steak (White & Dahl, 2006)
◦ Canadians negatively evaluated products that
symbolically represent Americans, but not Belgians
(White & Dahl, 2007)


Brands and the need to belong

Humans have a fundamental need to belong
(Baumeister & Leary, 1995)
— We use brands as a way to achieve
membership in a group
— Brand communities, e.g.,
◦ Harley Davidson
◦ Nike


Brands and the need to be unique

— People also have a need to be unique (e.g.,
Snyder & Fromkin, 1980)
◦ Stronger in some cultures
— Being too similar to others can elicit
negative affect
— We use brands to differentiate ourselves
from other people
◦ People with a higher need for uniqueness prefer
products that are more distinct (e.g., Tian et al.,


Satisfying the need to belong
and the need to be unique

— We can use different choice dimensions to
satisfy both needs
— Participants assimilated to their ingroup on
one dimension, but differentiated from
their ingroup on another dimension (Chan
et al., 2011), e.g.,
◦ If ingroup members typically drive BMW
sportscars, then choose a BMW SUV or a
Lexus sportscar


Brands and the need for effectance

People have a need to successfully interact
with the environment (White, 1959)
— Exerting control over objects and
possessions can satisfy this need (e.g.,
Ahuvia, 2005)
— The “IKEA effect” (Norton et al., 2012)
◦ We overvalue self-made products
◦ Illustrates the importance of consumer
– co-creation