From the Media Professor’s Dictionary

Cognitive Dissonance

Definition: Simply put this term is a reference to a perceived difference in understanding that a person may feel contradictory to common belief.

Example: If Sally buys a pair of shoes on impulse and then later realizes that her favorite celebrity wouldn’t be caught dead in them, she may not carry the same brand or product loyalty the next time she purchases. Her thoughts that popular perception differs from her decision is an example of cognitive dissonance.

What Can Marketers Do? If people are disconnected from a brand experience when they are making a purchase, they may feel unsupported in the post-purchase stage of consuming. One way to give a socially active person a sense of brand pride and loyalty is to give them a chance to support you on their Facebook profile. Studies have shown that simply having a product/brand logo associated with a user’s social experience online not only stimulates brand advocacy but also combats buyers remorse.  A very simple, yet sticky Facebook app could help a sales cycle from top to bottom.

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10:12 am Advertising, Media, Social Media

3 Responses

  1. Steven Moody Says:

    With all due respect, I think you misunderstand cognitive dissonance. Applying your scenario, by purchasing a product Sally becomes more attached to it and sees it in more places (suddenly everyone around her is driving the same car.) If her favorite celebrity publicly critiques the brand, she will probably stop liking the celebrity, as the spending of money makes her more committed to the shoes. Absent a public critique by the celebrity (of the shoes), Sally will never think the celebrity has an adverse opinion toward them, even if there is evidence supporting it.
    That said, I think you’re conclusion stands; this is one benefit to Facebook only having a “like” button, rather than thumbs-up/down voting on comments.

  2. Daniel Redman Says:

    You’re right only if you are reinforcing the brand throughout the process. If her connection with a celebrity spans years and a shoe purchase is a single impulse, I beg to differ. I’m not sure people have the psyche stability that you’re giving them credit for.

  3. Heidi Says:

    This is actually reinforcement theory. Cognitive dissonance states that the buyer will have to justify the purchase. If seeing many people with a different brand there is such a disconnect that the person must then change their beliefs about the purchase, such as my choice was better than the alternative. This will actually produce more brand reliance than simply reinforcing. Reinforcing does not cause a change in attitude but a short lived uncomfort with the chosen alternative.

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