Monday, April 21, 2008

Consumers More Open To Marketing Messages If Persuaded To Doubt Their Knowledge About A Brand

You could say the same thing about drugs: time pressured people probably forget the heparin/Vioxx/Zyprexa/ [fill in the blank] scandal when their harried time pressured doc is getting out the prescription pad and telling you to just take the pill and don't call him in the morning.

I actually remember a thyroid doctor trying to get me to doubt my own knowledge of TSH ranges, throwing all these big words at me, while he was actually just talking quickly out of his butt. That's one of the purposes of jargon, to make things seem more difficult.

Caveat emptor!!!

From Newswise, the journalists-only site:

Newswise — Opening yourself up to new ideas may be as easy as furrowing your brow or reading blurry print, according to the research of a Kansas State University marketing professor.

Kyoungmi Lee, an assistant professor of marketing, found that consumers were less likely to hold onto existing ideas about a brand if they were made to feel a sense of difficulty thinking about it, especially when they are time-pressured. That is because a sense of difficulty can lead consumers to doubt their understanding of a brand.

Lee said it's the same thing that happens at a busy fast-food restaurant. If you feel time-pressured to make a decision because there is huge line of hurried people behind you, anything that makes you feel that you don't understand the brand -- a new menu, a redesigned logo or a change in packaging -- may prompt you to choose your meal quickly based on whatever information you have, including in-store advertising telling you the menu item is "new" or "fresh."

Lee's research was conducted with Sharon Shavitt, a professor in business administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They studied consumer perceptions about the healthfulness of foods offered at McDonald's. Their research will appear in a coming issue of the Journal of Marketing Research.