Peer group more influential than ads in brand decisions

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BEIJING -- More than half of school children in China care about brands when they buy products, according to a survey.

The research, conducted by the International Advertising Agency and the Media Research Institute of the China People's University, shows that 15.8% of surveyed students "care very much" about brands when making purchasing decisions; 46.4% said they "care" about brands; while the rest say they "care little" or "don't care at all" about brands when buying products.

The survey also found that the older the students, the less they care about the brands used or worn by their schoolmates.

Brand consumption of primary school pupils is mainly focused on clothes, accounting for 33.8% of their total branded consumption, while that of middle and high school students varies. Female college students care most about branded cosmetics products, the survey found.

Overall, foreign sportswear brands have the highest influence on students and advertising is the main channel through which they learn about them. But classmates provide the most important channel through which to learn about brands, the study concludes.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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