NEWS14 October 2016

Brand loyalists may significantly skew research

Asia Pacific News

AUSTRALIA — Analysis from the Ehrenberg-Bass institute suggests that mixing users and non-users of a product or service in research could significantly compromise the validity of studies.

Mind crop

The research found that, regardless of whether a brand is present or absent in an advertising awareness question, brand users systematically remember advertising for that brand more than non-brand users. 

According to the report, research across six different advertising awareness measures ‘shows the user bias in memory for advertising is not a measurement artifact. It is, in fact, a real phenomenon, occurring under a wide range of conditions'.

The authors believe that the findings have implications for creative design, branding and pre-testing – in particular with advertising that aims to attract non-users – as well as measuring global and cross-platform advertising.

For example, aggregate-level metrics may inaccurately imply a campaign is less successful in countries where market shares are lower, since user bases are smaller. ‘This could lead marketers to make unnecessary modifications to campaigns to compensate for perceived lower advertising awareness', the report says.

The authors suggest comparing brand users and non-users separately. 

The study: Can brand users really remember advertising more than non-users? was published in the Journal of Advertising Research.