Brands, Information, and Loyalty
The new decade has been called "the age of information." We show that, although information has become more accessible, the increase in the variety of products has made consumers' choices complex and uncertain. Faced with uncertainty about products' attributes offered by "umbrella brands," consumers rely on cues, such as the overall "image" of the brands. Using data on television viewing choices, we show that the effect of these "brand images" on product choices is stronger than the effect of the products' attributes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the lack of information contributes to observed brand loyalty more than the oft-discussed "emotional attachment" to brands.
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