Brand names act like marketing placebos

Authors: 
Moty Amar, Dan Ariely, Maya Bar-Hillel, Ziv Carmon, and Chezy Ofir
Abstract: 

This research illustrates the power of reputation, such as that embodied in brand names, demonstrating that names can enhance objective product efficacy. Study participants facing a glaring light were asked to read printed words as accurately and as quickly as they could, receiving compensation proportional to their performance. Those wearing sunglasses tagged Ray-Ban made fewer errors, yet read more quickly, than those wearing the identical pair of sunglasses when tagged Mango (a less prestigious brand). Similarly, ear-muffs blocked noise more effectively, and chamomile tea improved mental focus more, when otherwise identical target products carried more reputable names.

Date: 
February, 2011
Number: 
566