What's in a name? The effect of a brand name on consumers' evaluation of fresh milk
International Journal of Consumer Studies
Bureau of Market Research, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
It is commonly accepted that packaged fresh milk available from reputable retail outlets taste the same and that when consumers choose between relatively similar products, such as milk, the purchasing decision tends to become simplified by considering product images and relying on brand names with clear and positive associations. One may thus ask whether the brand name of milk can influence consumers' evaluation of the actual sensory taste delivery. A quasi-experimental milk tasting was conducted to investigate this question. The procedure involved 312 participants who assessed milk from various milk brands that were decanted from either branded or unbranded packaging. The findings confirmed that the subjective associations bestowed on a brand name do indeed influence the way in which consumers experience the taste delivery of a milk product. This poses a challenge to milk brand manufacturers to identify alternative ways in which they could differentiate milk product offerings from competitor brands in order to retain or establish positive brand associations and ultimately ensure consumer loyalty. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.