I Like It, but I Don’t Know Why: How Does Conditioning Affect Consumer Choice?

Even when they are exposed to conflicting information about products, consumers are greatly affected by images attached to brands, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Few doubt that branding messages can be powerful, but new research shows that even when consumers don't recall the specific message, their preferences can be shaped to the point where they reject new information that conflicts with their stored brand association…even “highly motivated” subjects were unable to overcome their conditioning.

The authors conclude:
“Choice decisions of consumers are not only determined by evaluations of rational information (product attributes) but are also driven by forces that are generally outside of rational control,”

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