William G. Gilroy | January 20, 2016
From the middle-school child considering the premier brands of soccer shoes, to the college graduate weighing which graduate test prep course to take, a common marketing message from consumer brands is “you will perform better with us.”
In a new study, Frank Germann, of the Department of Marketing in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and colleagues Aaron Garvey of the University of Kentucky and Lisa Bolton of Penn State University examine if such performance brands can cause a placebo effect.
“Superior materials, craftsmanship, design or other components of the product can certainly help performance in some cases,” Germann said. “However, in our research, we hold the product constant and instead examine whether the mere belief that a particular brand is effective at enhancing performance can actually improve performance objectively.”