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In a new purchasing environment (e.g., where a consumer moves to a new city), do consumers tend to keep buying the first brand that they try? If so, a behavioral primacy effect might be at work. Behavioral primacy exists when consumers tend to repeat-buy the first brand that they purchased more often than other brands that are bought in the same purchase environment. This report assumes the physical experience of buying and using the first brand is satisfactory, and that all competing brands are available in adjacent spaces (as in a supermarket or on a website). This article presents findings that demonstrate a behavioral primacy effect: purchasing a brand in the first week was found to have a significant impact on how often a brand was subsequently bought. Furthermore, initial experience in combination with marketing influence tactics (such as specific prices, coupons, and advertising) greatly increases the probability of purchase of a given brand. The findings support the focus by many marketers on attracting consumers to try their brand first. One rationale for this strategy is that in mundane product categories, if a brand experience is satisfactory, continuing to buy the first-brand bought helps to conserve cognitive effort for a consumer's more important concerns.(1) 1. Assistance in data analysis by Eric Goodwin, Boston College, is acknowledged with gratitude. Partial financial support from an ARC research grant is acknowledged (DP0344446).
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