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New Condé Nast study reveals 79 percent of consumers make brand decisions pre-search

Condé Nast has released the results of a study commissioned in partnership with Tapestry, a research firm with specialisation in the consumer decision journey, which explored the crucial role and timing of influence in the path to purchase, and further examined the value of Condé Nast in the decision making process.

The study identified several key findings about the power influence has on the consumer decision journey and where marketers can take better advantage of reaching consumers with pertinent messaging. It also clearly demonstrates how advertising messages carried on publisher’s websites, especially when placed next to relevant content, can seriously influence buying behaviour.

Key takeaways publishers need to know:

Consumers are spending the majority of their time in the influence phase (pre-search) versus the rest of the journey, regardless of product category.

– Beauty: 80 percent time spent pre-search. The top purchase trigger for beauty consumers is informative content across all platforms (digital/video, social, print, etc.).

– Fashion: 69 percent time spent pre-search. Fashion consumers are motivated by ads, this is the top purchase trigger point after buying needs, i.e. “wanted something new” etc.  

– Tech: 65 percent time spent pre-search. The same is true for tech consumers, top purchase trigger points are ads outside of buying needs, i.e. “old tech broke,” “functionality issues.”

Influence has a significant impact on decisions pre-search and the majority of consumers are selecting brands early in the purchase process:

-Consumers often make their decisions before they start searching; 79 per cent have a short list of brands in mind before they search.

– 52 per cent spend the entire consumer decision journey deciding between two brands only. In fashion specifically, more than half of consumers purchased the brand they initially considered (53per cent) and that number grows to almost two-thirds (64per cent) when measured in teens (13-17) specific to fashion purchases.

– 69 percent will pay more attention to ads from sources they know and trust.

Proven influence with consumers

Condé Nast found that brands have three times more influence on consumer decisions than Google and Facebook.

“For most consumers, a purchase decision is really about justifying the idea you had right at the start. It’s imperative that marketers don’t forget the most important part of advertising, telling and supporting the brand story right at the start of the journey––or before the journey even begins. It’s here that you have most influence and, if you can get into the consumer’s mind from the very beginning, you are much more likely to be the one they search for, explore and choose in the end,” said Kevin Thompson, joint MD, Tapestry Research.

The study was conducted in the spring of 2018 and included a national sample of more than 4,500 US consumers, ages 18 to 64.

Abridged and re-published by kind permission of FIPP, the network for global media