How confirmation bias effects branding.

Oh the joys of creating your brand. Working out where you fit in the industry and what your unique selling proposition is. But what happens if later down the track you want to change your target market and foundations within your brand? Looking at confirmation bias, you wonder how easy it is for peoples’ perspective of your brand to change.

What is confirmation Bias?

In psychology, confirmation bias is a person’s natural instinct to look for information that confirms their current beliefs. This is displayed when information is gathered, interpreted or recalled selectively, in a bias way to verify one’s preconceptions.

An experiment on this took place, where participants viewed a video of a woman engaged in multiple activities.

These activities included listening to classical music, drinking beer and watching TV. Before watching the video, one group of participants were told that the woman was a waitress, and another group were told that she was a librarian.

After the video, when participants were asked to recall what activities the woman had done, they remembered the activities that fit in with their stereotype of a waitress or a librarian.

For participants who believed that the lady was a librarian, they tended to remember her listening to classical music. While the participants who believed she was a waitress, tended to remember her drinking beer.

Why is this all relevant to branding?

This directly relates to companies trying to change their product or image within their industry.

If the clothing store, Cotton On, brings out a range of high quality clothing and bumps up its price, you’ll probably assume that the product is still lower quality and now over priced.

While if Prada brings out a product that is lower quality and slightly cheaper, you’ll probably assume its still high quality and that you’re getting a bargain.

This uneasy aspect of human nature, makes is more difficult to convince your audience that your brand has changed. So right from the start, when you’re creating your brand image, it’s important to keep your long-term company goals in mind.

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