Here's what makes you 'cool'
Researchers have said that people and brands become cool by understanding what is considered normal, obeying the rules considered necessary, and then diverging from the rules considered expendable.
Authors Caleb Warren (Texas A and M University) and Margaret C. Campbell (University of Colorado), said their research explores how brands and people become cool in the eyes of consumers, adding that they reasoned that brands could become cool by breaking rules that seemed unnecessary or unfair, but not by breaking legitimate rules.
In one study, participants were asked to evaluate an advertisement for a brand that advocated either breaking or following a dress code. Some participants read that the dress code existed for a legitimate reason (to honor war veterans), whereas others read that the dress code existed for an illegitimate reason (to honor a corrupt dictator). Results showed that breaking the dress code made the brand seem cooler when the dress code seemed unnecessary, but not when the dress code seemed legitimate.
Brands interested in showing how cool their products are can highlight features of independence and uniqueness. The authors also point out that it is difficult to be cool to everyone. That is, what is perceived as cool by one group of consumers may seem too deviant for another group.
Finally, for policymakers hoping to curb risky behaviors, study results point out the benefits of messages that make desired behaviors more autonomous (and therefore cool) to the target audience.
The new study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
(Posted on 22-05-2014)