For instance, one of their female assistants asked people in a shopping mall to stop and answer survey questions. One day she wore a sweater with a designer logo; the next, an identical sweater with no logo. Some 52% of people agreed to take the survey when faced with the Tommy Hilfiger label, compared with only 13% who saw no logo.
In another experiment, volunteers watched one of two videos of the same man being interviewed for a job. In one, his shirt had a logo; in the other, it did not. The logo led observers to rate the man as more suitable for the job, and even earned him a 9% higher salary recommendation.
Not gigantic effects, but you have to think about this applied over a population; 9% more could be millions of dollars to a company in overpaid salary to those who happen to wear a brand (or, if you want to flip it, millions of dollars in underpaid salary to unlabeled folks.)
The focus of this article for most people will be how they can use the label in their own life. Should I wear it out to bars? To interviews?
But the more interesting part is in the study: when wearing a brand label won’t work.
we predicted that any factor that affects or undercuts the reliability of consumption as a signal, such as the availability of counterfeits and limitations, the possibility of buying on credit
which is where we’re at now. Learning that the shirt is a knock-off most assuredly destroys its power to the perceiver (and likely the wearer). But the possibility- the probability– that its a knock off is just as bad. And a guy who is wearing an Armanai suit but doesn’t really look like he could afford it will also diminish its power.
In other words, in as much as a brand conveys a message about the user, deliberately faking the brand may convey the opposite message.
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