Product Loyalty: Familiarity Beats Superiority

In what is sure to launch another tiresome Mac/PC debate, the Journal of Consumer Research has released a study that shows familiarity to be the deciding factor when consumers are asked which product is superior:

“The costs associated with thinking about and using a particular product decrease as a function of the amount of experience a consumer has with it. Thus, repeated consumption or use of an incumbent product results in a (cognitive) switching cost that increases the probability that a consumer will continue to choose the incumbent over competing alternatives.”

So, basically, people are too lazy to learn something new, even if it’s easier to learn than what they already know, because, well, they already know it.

If you’re familiar with something, you’re not an objective judge of its quality. Unless it’s Linux. Those people are always right, just ask them.—MEGHANN MARCO

Product loyalty: consumers mistake familiarity with superiority [Ars Technica]
Explaining Cognitive Lock-In: The Role of Skill-Based Habits of Use in Consumer Choice [Journal of Consumer Research]
(Photo: Wikipedia)

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