Why Campbell’s Over Progresso?

I question soup brands. Why? Well, because it’s finally starting to feel like fall and soup brands are bound to love this time of year. They can go from minimal advertising, perhaps reminding us how good their broth is in casseroles, to drawing our attention in every possible way to its warm goodness.

But the question can be posed for brands of any product. Why Secret over Degree? Why Tide over All? Why Jimmy Choo over Cole Hahn? Why do we choose one brand over another?

Age of the Internet

eMarketer.com recently featured an article to shed some light on this age-old question in the Age of Aquarius Internet. The study conducted by Harbinger focused on female Internet users over 18 years old in North America. In this demographic, 92% reported that they share information about products through word-of-mouth: getting advice from friends and family.

The survey aimed to look at habits beyond word-of-mouth and surveyed the demographic on what motivates them to seek and share product information on the Internet. They found 32% are likely to share information on a website and 27% are likely to share information on a social networking site. These percentages seem low compared to the staggering 92% still using word-of-mouth, but the numbers are still significant and growing.

Surfing Food and Bevs

The article from eMarketer.com highlighted the results from two product categories, Food and Beverage and Appliances. Since I’ve got soup on the brain, I’ll share the results from the Food and Beverage category.

Participants reported fairly consistently (25%-32%) in the top five reasons for seeking information about food and beverages on the Internet. I don’t think this data is surprising; individuals are motivated by different factors and multiple factors. I do think it’s interesting to compare what “seekers” seek to what they are more likely to find from sharers. While 25% are seeking “to get opinions or references from other consumers,” 36% are sharing in order “to help others make smart purchases.”

The survey found that over two-thirds of the participants reported being likely to share information on food and beverages. The main reason? Experiences. Offline experiences are the driving force behind women sharing food and beverage information on the Internet. Results showed that 58% would share information about a good experience and 46% would share information about a bad experience. If a female Internet user shares information on the Internet about food and beverage, it’s likely because she had a good (or bad) experience with Campbell’s (or Progresso).

Facing the Web

Despite the popularity of “mommy blogs,” social networking sites and online product reviews, at the end of the day, females are still sharing information the old-fashioned way, face-to-face with friends and family. Blogs, social networking sites and websites are a powerful way for female Internet users to share and seek information. I think the Internet is a resource females will increasingly use and build to determine what product to purchase and influence what brand to choose.

Seek and Share

What motivates you to choose one brand over the other? Do you seek or share product information on the Internet? Share what motivates you to seek and share with a comment below!