How old is your consideration set?

Date of publication: January 30, 2005


Three different theoretical perspectives (nostalgia, cognitive decline, socioemotional selectivity) lead to the hypothesis that product preference should depend on the consumers age when the product was launched. It should be maximal for consumers who were 25 or less, and decrease monotonically for older consumers. After reviewing recent results supporting this hypothesis for the purchasers of new cars, new results based on a very large data set of perfume users are presented. The hypothesis is equally supported. Indeed, age at product launch seems to be a major predictor of brand choice in categories where brands may live very old, such as cars or perfumes.

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