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BizReport : Research archives : October 09, 2013

'Secrets and Lies' revealed among consumer brand motivations

Consumers may say they know which brands they prefer, but new research from ad agency Young & Rubicam reveals that, subconsciously at least, what they say and what they do is at odds.

by Helen Leggatt

Research conducted among consumers in the U.S, Brazil and China found that "many consumers hold views that are the opposite of what they tell us". How do they know this? Using both traditional survey methods and an approach called Implicit Association, both conscious and subconscious motivations for motivations and brand preference can be compared.

And, the comparisons are very interesting.

In particular, three main findings stick out. First, while consumers claim that their most important value is "meaning in life", unconsciously they consider "sexual fulfilment" their number one value.

Furthermore, what consumers cite as being their motivations on a conscious level can be the polar opposite of what they think subconsciously.

"American's top conscious values (helpfulness, choosing your own path, meaning if life) are reminiscent of Oprah, while our top unconscious values (maintaining security, sexual fulfillment, respect for tradition) seem more reminiscent of Tony Soprano," says Young & Rubicam in an announcement of the study.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that consumers may think they like 'popular' brands such as Google and Microsoft, but "many brands that are well liked consciously fall considerably in the rankings unconsciously". Take a look at the diagram below.


According to Chip Walker, the Young & Rubicam Executive VP who directed the study, "The inner life of the global consumer seems to run on conflict. The good news is that a great many consumers are increasingly comfortable living with this complexity".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand marketing, consumer preferences, survey

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