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"Brand Study Yields New Understanding of Consumer Purchasing Behavior" Momentum
(A Publication Exclusively for Clients and Friends of CDB Research & Consulting), Summer 1999

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CDB Research & Consulting Inc. has studied the influence of branding on consumer purchasing behavior in numerous markets over the past year. Two distinct purchasing patterns have emerged from this research that suggest that demographic groups base purchasing decisions on a set of common priorities. In the following article, Ann Middleman, vice president of CDB Research & Consulting Inc., shares her thoughts on the matter...

The return of brands to market dominance, following a period in which price-conscious shoppers were suspicious of brands, reflects a renewed confidence in the value of branding. Today's consumers often view brands as conveying one of two values: convenience or security. Research indicates that certain groups tend to value brands that increase the stability in a person's life, such as products for health and home. Other groups, however, place a premium on brands that are believed to increase efficiency and convenience, such as technology products or high-tech fabrics.

CDB Research & Consulting's study of branded ingredients reveals that younger consumers are more likely to recognize convenience-related brands like Intel, Dolby and Kevlar than brands that are perceived to increase security. Mature consumers, on the other hand, are more familiar with security-related brands like Stainmaster, Dacron and Scotchgard. However, age is not the only determinant of consumer purchasing behavior. Gender also influences how consumers view branded components, with more women focusing on brands that offer security and more men focusing on those that enhance convenience.

Both sides of the equation are willing to pay a premium for products containing preferred branded ingredients. Women are likely to pay more for security-related brands like Scotchgard and Stainmaster, while men will pay more for brands like Kevlar and Gore-tex. In general, convenience-related brands command higher prices than those offering security-related benefits. This may be due to the newer, more technological nature of the components, as opposed to branded ingredients like Scotchgard and Dacron, which are older brands, and are chemical in nature.

As brands continue to be categorized by consumers, individual products will find themselves in the hands of like-minded consumers. However, marketers who successfully capture the attention of consumers who crave either security or convenience will more quickly achieve their business objectives.

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