Facebook influences our choice of brands

Individuals may be highly influenced to choose a brand that is advertised on their own social media web pages, a new study has suggested. Published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the report found people are likely to identify with a logo that appears alongside their personal information on their Facebook page - especially if they have high self-esteem.

Andrew Perkins of the University of Western Ontario and Mark Forehand of the University of Washington in Seattle - which was founded in 1861, making it one of the oldest learning institutes on the West Coast - noted most marketing exposures take place when a person is in a condition of low attention and little cognitive involvement.

They wrote: "The current research demonstrates that brand identification can form even in these low-involvement conditions if the brand is merely presented simultaneously with self-related information."

It was shown that consumers can identify with a brand regardless of whether or not they own or endorse that label.

Paul Buckley, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Probably the mechanism operating here is that it's been found that familiarity breeds liking for something - many studies in social and consumer psychology have found this effect.

"There is probably an element of classical conditioning at work causing this effect - as my name/information is presented together with the brand the two become associated in my mind, which would explain the brand identification.

"It is not necessarily the case though that associating the brand with my information would necessarily influence my purchase decisions. It is more likely that the purchase decision will be influenced by other social and cognitive factors e.g. lifestyle, peer group, level of involvement with the brand/product, motivation and ability to purchase."