New kids on the block: Latecomers must be unique to outperform pioneer brands

Oct 14, 2008

What is it that allows some brands to succeed and some to fail? Why is it sometimes better to be first and other times more advantageous to reach the market later? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research takes a close look at the learning process consumers use to evaluate brands.

Authors Marcus Cunha, Jr. (University of Washington-Seattle) and Juliano Laran (University of Miami) found that people evaluate pioneer brands more thoroughly than the next brands they encounter. They also tend to associate attributes common to both brands more to the first brand they encounter.

"In four experiments, we find that consumers more strongly associate common attributes with early-learned brands and unique attributes with late-learned brands," the authors write.

For example, in their first experiment, researchers showed participants a brand-name wine then pointed out two attributes of that wine brand. Then, researchers showed people a second brand name, pointing out two of its attributes. In the second wine, one attribute was common to the first one and one was unique to the second brand. Then researchers showed them a wine with the common attributes and a wine with the unique attributes and asked them to choose what brand the wine was. When shown the common attribute, participants were more likely to choose the first brand, but when shown either of the unique attributes, they were more likely to choose the second brand.

"In this research, we found that a stronger association between the unique attribute and the late-learned brand may result in a late entrant's advantage when the unique attributes are more valued than the common attributes," the authors explain. "When a common attribute is more valued than unique attributes, the early entrant will have an advantage because its brand name will be more strongly associated with the common attribute."

This study could help marketers better learn how to brand products. "We show that people develop a strong association between the unique attribute and the late-learned brand," they conclude.

Source: University of Chicago

Explore further: When it comes to how pizza looks, cheese matters

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

2 hours ago

A dry wash full of 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that include an ankylosaurus, dromaeosaurus and a menacing ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex, is set to open to the public this fall in Utah.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

2 hours ago

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Dead floppy drive: Kenya recycles global e-waste

2 hours ago

In an industrial area outside Kenya's capital city, workers in hard hats and white masks take shiny new power drills to computer parts. This assembly line is not assembling, though. It is dismantling some ...

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules

3 hours ago

Anyone who has suffered an injury can probably remember the after-effects, including pain, swelling or redness. These are signs that the body is fighting back against the injury. When tissue in the body is damaged, biological ...

Recommended for you

When it comes to how pizza looks, cheese matters

Aug 21, 2014

Most consumers have an idea what they want their pizza slice to look like. Golden cheese with that dark toasted-cheese color scattered in distinct blistery patches across the surface with a bit of oil glistening in the valleys. ...

Freedom and responsibility of science

Aug 21, 2014

Yesterday, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences presented their recommendations for "The Freedom and Responsibility of Science" in Berlin. Both research organizations appeal ...

What I learned from debating science with trolls

Aug 20, 2014

I often like to discuss science online and I'm also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably ...

Activists urge EU to scrap science advisor job

Aug 19, 2014

Nine major charities urged the European Commission on Tuesday to scrap a science advisor position it says puts too much power over sensitive policy into the hands of one person.

User comments : 0