Everyone has, at least, one brand that they are loyal to without fail. All you have to do is look around your home to find the brands. But, what makes you choose one brand over another? Maybe it is because that brand is the best on the market, and you want to get your money’s worth. However, sometimes, it may have something to do with the amount of exposure you have had to the product on social media, which is known as the Mere Exposure Effect.
What is the Mere Exposure Effect?
The Mere Exposure Effect was first discovered in 1968 by social psychologist Robert Zajonc. According to this social phenomenon, the more a person gets exposed to something, the more they develop a preference towards that thing over time. If you look your email inbox, you probably get emails from companies almost on a daily basis, and this strategy to email marketing is a form of the mere exposure effect. At first, it was only seen in more traditional advertising methods: television, print media, radio, and other similar types of advertisements. But now, with the rise of social media advertising, the Mere Exposure Effect has increased even more in use.
Social Media Advertising and the Mere Exposure Effect
These days, some forms of traditional media no longer have as big of a following like they once did. This is especially true with the younger millennial generation- the new generation of consumers. When it comes to these young buyers, they are not reading newspapers or watching traditional television all the time. Instead, they watch their shows online and spend a majority of their day on social media.
Companies have taken note of that change and taken advantage of the wide availability of social media. Now, their messages can be seen as someone scrolls through their Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram feeds. A lot of organizations are creating podcasts and podcasting adds another element through audio in the whole engagement process. So even on the radio you can hear certain commercials more often than others, and if you are subscribing to podcasts, then you're getting a message delivered constantly to you. These platforms make it possible to share a simple image or video about their brand with mass audiences multiple times a day, which greatly increases their visibility. Because of this increased visibility, the brand is given more of a chance to take full advantage of the Mere Exposure Effect.
What it Means for Brand Loyalty
Once you understand the Mere Exposure Effect, you will have a much better understanding as to why people prefer one brand over another. In many cases, the repeated exposure plays a major role in the preference a person shows. But, this is not the only way to explain a consumer’s buying habits. In fact, while it explains why people have a strong preference for a specific brand, sometimes people like products they do not get as exposed to. For that reason, you cannot take the Mere Exposure Effect as the only law in social media advertising.
Advertising, in general, plays a large role in how people buy. When a person shows loyalty to a specific brand, it could be caused by the Mere Exposure Effect. But, it may also just be because it is truly a superior product. Whatever the case may be, pay attention to the number of brands you get exposed to on a daily basis, and how many you actually buy. Have you been touched by the Mere Exposure Effect?