A recent article from in HAPPI magazine (as in Household and Personal Products Industry) reports that consumers are so brand conscious that they will switch to a high status brand even when it makes no sense for that brand to offer a specific product. The article provided a delightfully disturbing example: people said they’d switch from a low-status brand like Kmart camping gear to a high status brand like Speedo camping gear. Whoa!
This study, to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, says the reason for this behavior is that visual cues (such as pictures of the product), can cause consumers to focus on the quality of the parent brand rather than how well the brand image fits with a specific product. I can only imagine what’ll happen when manufacturers of “prestige” brands start to exploit this research. Watch for these products coming soon to a Wal-Mart near you:
Prestige personal care products
- Porsche Hairspray (There is no substitute.)
- Coach Anti-wrinkle cream (Softens fine lines and wrinkles and leather hand bags.)
- Apple Anti-perspirant (The computer company, not the fruit.)
- Christian Louboutin bunion cream (Have you worn those shoes? They should totally make this!)
- Yves Saint Laurent perfume (Oh wait, that one already exists.)
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smoy/3963976242/sizes/m/in/photostream/
What do YOU think? Are you really influenced that much by brand names or do you think you’re a smarter shopper?