Little empirical research has examined the implicit effects of
environmental cues on consumer behavior. Across six studies using a combination of field and laboratory methods, the authors find that products are more accessible, evaluated more favorably, and chosen more frequently when the surrounding environment contains more perceptually or conceptually related cues. The findings highlight the impact of frequent—in addition to recent—priming in shaping product evaluation and choice: more frequent exposure to perceptually or conceptually related cues increases product accessibility and makes the product easier to process. In turn, this increased accessibility influences product evaluation and choice, which are found to vary directly with the frequency of exposure to conceptually related cues. These results support the hypothesis that conceptual priming effects can have a strong impact on real-world consumer judgments.
JONAH BERGER and GRÁINNE FITZSIMONS*