Consumers Judge Brands the Same Way They Judge People

Consumers Judge Brands the Same Way They Judge People

Consumers Judge Brands the Same Way They Judge People

When evaluating different brands, consumers look for the same aspects that they use to judge each other. The instinctively perceived impressions of warmth and competence that people get from a specific brand is what draws them to purchase and pledge loyalty to that brand, according to a recently released study.

Conducted by a team of researchers with Princton University and The Relational Capital Group, this study brings to light new ideas about how the qualities of warmth and competence encouraged consumers to purchase from eight major brands. These brands included pairs of competitors, such as McDonalds and Burger King.

This research indicates that the benefits and features offered by a product are not the only things that consumers use to decide on a purchase. Social psychologists have developed a theory over the last few decades that early humans developed the ability to discern the intentions of others towards them as a survival mechanism. This quality is best known as warmth. Early humans also learned to measure the competency of others, or how well they could actually carry out their plans.

Humans apply these same two traits to brands they consider. The study also showed that all of the brands that fell short of the expectations of the consumers participating in the research lacked a feeling of honesty and trustworthiness, or did not seem to act with the consumer’s best interests in mind. Brands that can convey a caring, trustworthy attitude to their customers scored much higher on brand loyalty questions.

While the ideas of warmth and competency have been a part of psychology for quite a while, they are new terms in the industry of marketing. With this new research, marketing teams will have to reconsider the way they design product packaging, slogans or catch phrases, and advertising campaigns to build a sturdy relationship with their consumers.


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