Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Why We Buy

The data here is sort of interesting, but I’m not sure I buy the premise:

Ask Americans if they are willing to spend more to buy American-made products, and nearly half say they are often willing to do this. But in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, the country where a product is made trails price, quality, and even convenience, as an important factor in consumer decision-making. The public gives even less importance to a product’s brand, its impact on the environment, or the political leanings of the company that produces it.

Basically it breaks down that 76 percent say the price of the product is extremely important, 85 percent say quality is extremely important and only 31 percent say the brand is extremely important. I think the price thing is probably right, quality sounds like something people like to talk themselves into (if we cared that much then why do we buy so much Ikea furniture?) and brand seems like a classic case of people not understanding their own motivations. Sure, it might not seem like it, but when someone walks down the aisle and buys Crest instead of store-brand they’re choosing brand over quality and price and probably not even thinking about it. In fact, to most people I’d guess that brand equals quality.

[via Marginal Revolution]

April 28, 2012 // This post is about: , ,


  • martin bihl says:

    as usual, noah, you’re spot on – what people thinks motivates them, and what actually motivates them are entirely different. this is a conversation i have with students and clients all the time and probably will until i die…

  • Matt says:

    My guess is that only a tiny subset of America is willing to admit they care about brand names. I am surprised it is even as high as 31%.

    To everybody else, a brand is just shorthand for an amalgamation of all the other stuff they do care about. People don’t buy Crest over a store brand because they choose brand over quality. They buy it because Crest has become synonymous with consistent, effective, decent-tasting toothpaste.

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