I'm sticking with my brand: Loyal customers perceive competitor ads differently

November 17, 2008

What does it take for marketers to reach customers who are already loyal to a particular brand? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines brand loyalty and the way it affects perceptions of advertising.

Authors Sekar Raju (Iowa State University), H. Rao Unnava (Ohio State University, and Nicole Votolato Montgomery (College of William and Mary) discovered that consumer brand loyalty heavily influences responses to marketing from competing brands. "Consumers who are more loyal to a brand seem to search and process competitor brand information very differently than consumers who are less loyal to a brand," write the authors. "When loyalty is high, consumers search for evidence that a competitor brand is not a good brand, contrary to the advertisement information."

In contrast, less loyal customers look for evidence to confirm that the competitor brand is a good brand. "This search manifests in the identification of similarities between their preferred brand and competing brand, resulting in an overall perception that the two brands are alike."

In three related studies, researchers compared people who were very loyal to specific brand-name products: Sony music players, Saucony athletic shoes, and Olympus voice recorders. The researchers succeeded in changing the perceptions of low and high-loyalty participants by asking them to shift their focus from dissimilarities to similarities, or vice versa.

"The change in focus from searching for similarities to dissimilarities has implications for marketers. Advertisements that are targeted toward consumers who are loyal to another brand may have to be structured differently," conclude the authors.

Source: University of Chicago

Explore further: When are consumers loyal to brands? New model helps explain

Related Stories

Amazon's music service plays to a different beat

June 4, 2015

A few dozen people crowded into a meeting room at Amazon.com's Seattle headquarters last month for one of the nice perks of working at the giant online retailer: a free concert.

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.