Many prefer to buy generic clothing rather than stand out with designer brands

Many people buy and wear clothes from prestigious brands to express themselves and stand out. However, a new study from the University of Missouri has found that people who are more sensitive to how others perceive them are actually more likely to avoid clothes with large logos, even if the clothes are from a brand. prestigious. Eunjin Kim, a doctoral student at the MU School of Journalism, says it’s important for companies to understand this brand avoidance behavior when marketing their products to consumers.

“A lot of people, especially those who are sensitive to how other people see them, don’t try to stand out because of their clothing and clothing choices,” Kim said. “Although they can choose more prestigious brands that they believe will improve their image with their peers, like Coach or Gucci, they would prefer to choose a less prestigious brand if that means the logos are smaller and less intrusive. Even if they promote a positive image. is important to these people, we’ve found that it’s even more important that they don’t stand out from the crowd. “

For her study, Kim assessed participants’ sensitivity to the opinions of others using the Attention to Social Comparison Information Scale (ATSCI), which measures how much participants care about social approval. Participants who had higher ATSCI scores showed greater sensitivity to how they were viewed. Kim then introduced participants to various clothing and clothing items and asked them what items they would be likely to purchase and wear. Kim found that high-level ATSCI individuals avoided branding choices that could attract attention, such as those involving distinctive marks or prominent brand logos.

“Our results indicate that in making their branding choices, many consumers are willing to sacrifice distinctiveness and individuality in order to reduce the possibility of disapproval by others,” Kim said. “We can’t always predict the reactions of others to our clothing choices, and there is always a chance that those reactions will come in the form of criticism rather than compliments. As consumers seek social approval and fear social isolation, these individuals are likely to prefer to keep a low profile in their branded consumption behaviors. So, indeed, many people fear being viewed negatively by their peers more than they are willing to gain positive attention by taking fashion risks. “

Kim says clothing brands should pay attention to this trend when marketing to high ATSCI customers. While high-profile individuals from ATSCI would prefer to buy more prestigious brands, if those brands are too distinctive and attract attention, Kim says less prestigious brands may be able to capitalize by creating clothing and apparel with small logos and understated styles.

Kim also found that while individuals with low ATSCI, who are less sensitive to how others perceive them, preferred smaller logos from less prestigious brands, they were not shy about relatively large sized logos on items in the shop. prestigious brands.

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Material provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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