Psychology experiment: Would brand image affect customers' desire to consume

Topics: Branding, Brand, Luxury good Pages: 6 (754 words) Published: October 28, 2014




















Buying is an essensial part in our daily life, ranging from purchasing a backpack to a drink in supermarkets. However, with the uprising branded items in the society, it causes a change in people’s desire to consume seemingly. It is said that although luxury brands may be highly valued by society, the conspicuous consumption of luxury brands is less likely to be socially valued (Wilcox, 2014 & Hagtvedt, 2014 & Kocher, 2014). Social values mean the subjective aspects of the citizens such as the decision making and participation in social events. In the meantime, accordingly, a recent survey conducted in eleven global markets found that two thirds of consumers occasionally treat themselves to luxury branded products (Synovate 2010). With these two phenomenons emerged, thus an experiment is designed aiming to examine whether the brand image could affect customers’ desire to consume or not.

In this experiment, random sampling is used for the selection of 200 participants who are all females and are aged from 25-30 as the observers. The participants selected are familiar to the brand of the products, those are “coka cola”, “Cif dish cleanser” and the “Longchamp apparrel handbags”. The branded and non-branded products is defined as the independent variable, whereas the desire of one’s to buy is identified as the dependent variable. The participants are randomly assigned to one of two conditions. In the first group, called as the control group, participants are invited to go into a room where there are three booths with non-branded products (i.e. the cokes, dish cleansers and handbags) introduced to the participants. In the second group, called as the experimental group, the other participants are invited to a room where

the set-ups are identical to that of the control group, such as the light intensity, the background of the room, the decorations and the positions of the booths, except the products are branded, “coka cola”, “Cif” and “Longchamp” respectively. During the experiment in both conditions, the participants are asked to spend time in the room with the three booths for 5 minutes, and they are not allowed to purchase anything during the experiment. In order to quantitize the dependent variables for measuring and comparing, the rating of desire in consuming towards the three products of the participants is defined as the operational variable of observers’desire to consume. After 5 minutes in spending the rooms, the participants are asked to rate a 10-point scale in accordance with their desire to buy the products.

After designing the experiment, it is predicted that the profit-making of the three booths with branded products in the experimental group will be much larger than that of the three booths with non-branded products in the control group. It is highly possible that the brand image would influence one’s desire to consume. Indeed, a prior study has pointed out that the brand's image has a more specific influence on the customers' perceptions of product and service quality while the company's reputation has a broader influence on perceptions of customer value and customer loyalty (Cretu & Brodie, 2007). Furthermore, the psychological concept of “self-concept” can also be discussed in this experiment. Sirgy (1982), has pointed out in his article that Grubb and Grathwohl (1967) specified the consuming behaviour of an individual will be directed towards enhancing self-concpet through...

References: Cretu, A. E. & Brodie, R. J. (2007). The influence of brand image and
company reputation where manufacturers market to small firms: A customer value
Sirgy, M. J. (1982). Self-concept in consumer behaviour: A critical review.
Synovate, M. R. (2010), “New Study Shows Most Americans Feel Guilty
Buying Luxury Goods, Prefer No Logos,” (accessed February 9, 2014), retrieved
Wilcox, K. & Hagvedt, H. & Kocher, B. (2014). The less conspicuous road to
virtue: The influence of luxury consumption on socially valued behavior.
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