Home » Business News » 2011 » June » June 16, 2011

Consumers really dislike their 'copycats' imitating their product choice

June 16, 2011 - Washington

Have you ever gone to a party only to learn upon arrival that another guest is wearing the same dress or shirt as you?

The answer of many of us might be 'yes'. Now, a new study says how you might have reacted at that moment.

It has revealed that consumers react strongly to their product choices being copied and that they really dislike it when the copycat is someone similar to them.

The researchers Katherine White, University of British Columbia and Jennifer J. Argo, University of Alberta looked at what happens when someone else copies a consumer's product choice.

They found that being copied by similar others leads to avoidance behaviors such as throwing products away, re-customizing them, or exchanging the item for a new one.

"This effect is driven by consumer desire to be distinct and unique individuals," said the researchers.

They found that study participants only wanted to get rid of products that were copied when the possessions were symbolic in nature.

"It is more threatening to a person's sense of distinctiveness to be copied on our perfume selection, rather than something more mundane like an iron," explained the researchers.

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.


Comment on this story