In another experiment, volunteers watched one of two videos of the same man being interviewed for a job. In one, his shirt had a logo; in the other, it did not. The logo led observers to rate the man as more suitable for the job, and even earned him a 9% higher salary recommendation.
In a society in which the populace is now referred to as “consumers” rather than “citizens”, we all know the power of branding. The Economist reports on a study showing just how far this effect goes — the cooperation, respect, and money which others will give you varies widely based on the logo that appears on your shirt:
Rob Nelissen and Marijn Meijers of Tilburg University in the Netherlands examined people’s reactions to [actors] who were wearing clothes made by Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, two well-known brands that sell what they are pleased to refer to as designer clothing. As the two researchers show in a paper about to be published in Evolution and Human Behavior, such clothes do bring the benefits promised: co-operation from others, job recommendations and even the ability to collect more money when soliciting for charity.
One of their female assistants asked people in a shopping mall to stop and answer survey questions. One day she wore a sweater with a designer logo; the next, an identical sweater with no logo. Some 52% of people agreed to take the survey when faced with the Tommy Hilfiger label, compared with only 13% who saw no logo.