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December 10, 2021

Brands designed to go together judged more appealing: report

When it comes to snacking, certain items just belong together: chips and dip, wine and cheese, beer and pretzels.

ChipsBut does that mix have to come from the same manufacturer? Apparently so.

Shoppers prefer matching brands for products that are consumed together because they believe products from the same brand have been designed that way, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

In one study, consumers ate Tostitos brand tortilla chips and Tostitos brand salsa but were told that they were actually various combinations of fictional brands called Festivity or Party Time. When told that the two foods were from the same brand, however, consumers enjoyed the chips and salsa that much more. 

In another study, subjects again ate Tostitos tortilla chips and salsa but were told that the snacks were various combinations of "Brand A" and "Brand B."

Some were told that the brands had conducted joint research and design on the two products, while others were told that the brands had coordinated on a distribution deal.  

The latter group enjoyed chips and salsa from the same brand more than chips and salsa from different brands.

However, both groups enjoyed the chips and salsa more when told that the brands had conducted joint product research and design, regardless of the brands they were told they were consuming.

In other words, they were meant to go together from the outset.

"A company that offers products that are consumed together will have an advantage over other rival brands that do not offer both individual products, since consumers will want to have matching brands," the study's authors conclude.

Do you make your decisions this way? Does packaging and branding make much of a difference here?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...