FEATURE17 October 2017

The choices we make

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Features Impact North America

If a consumer has made up their mind about a brand they want, one might assume that failing to find pertinent information on that product would not deter them. But research in the US points to the opposite. By Jane Bainbridge.

Choices we make

Access to information, personal preference, existing knowledge, a communications prompt, an already established loyalty; the reasons people decide on a particular brand for a product or service they want to purchase are varied.

One might assume that consumers with a strong prior preference apply reasoning that will bolster this preliminary choice – and, indeed, some research has pointed to this.

But what happens when important information needed to complete the purchase is missing during this pre-purchase research period? How will their strength of opinion for their first choice affect their reaction to missing information? 

Research carried out by a team in the US has suggested that those with relatively stronger prior preferences for a product are more likely to abandon it than those with weaker prior preferences. 

The researchers looked at how preference strength plays a part because those with relatively stronger prior preferences experience more cognitive dissonance when information on new attributes is ...