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Consumers who feel 'special' hunt for unique products

Posted on Jul 26 2014 | IANS

Hong Kong, July 26 : Consumers who attribute their successes to internal character traits rather than hard work are more likely to feel 'special' and hunt for unique products, says a study by a team of researchers involving an Indian-origin professor.

"We found that consumers who attribute feelings of pride to their unique character traits - rather than how hard they worked to accomplish something - more likely to feel 'special'," said Anirban Mukhopadhyay, an associate professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

As a result, these consumers are more likely to seek out unique options rather than conform to the choices of others, Mukhopadhyay explained.

Over six experiments, the authors studied the influence of internal and external pride on consumer choices. In one study, some participants were made to feel proud based on either who they are, what they had done, or just because it was a nice day.

All the participants were then asked to select from one of four t-shirts, three of which were white and similar and a fourth that was identical in design but red in colour.

The participants made to feel proud based on who they are were more likely to select the red t-shirt than the other participants.

Brands offering unique products should use terms like "you're special" to emphasise consumer uniqueness, the authors suggested.

On the other hand, brands with more mainstream products can use taglines like "you've worked hard" to appeal to feelings of achievement and accomplishment.

The study appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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