Brand loyalty: Confirmation bias

Neasa Cunniffe and Mark Sng
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and Saint@RKCR/Y&R

Studies show that we may already have made our brand choice before we start our purchase research, and it is likely to be based on an emotional attachment to a brand.

If you've recently bought a new car, television or mobile phone, you probably did a little homework first, turning to the internet, just like half the US population who now always search for information online before purchasing (Google/Shopper Sciences, 2011).

With an abundance of reviews and data at our fingertips, we have never been in a better position to make rational, informed and objective decisions on the right product to purchase. However, the reality is that most of us are probably not researching and interpreting this information in an objective way at all.

When faced with a large quantity of complex information, people have a tendency to be cognitively lazy. Often we rely on heuristics, or rules of thumb, which are ways of short-cutting the hard work of logical reasoning. These heuristics save us time and can result in 'good enough' decisions, which is exactly why we rely on them.