"While they may choose higher prestige brands that they believe will improve their image among their peers, such as Coach or Gucci, they would rather choose a less prestigious brand if it means the logos are smaller and less obtrusive," said Eunjin Kim from the University of Missouri in the US.

"Even though promoting a positive image is important for these people, we found that it is even more important that they do not stand out in the crowd," Kim added.

For her study, Kim evaluated participants' sensitivity to the opinions of others by using the attention to social comparison information (ATSCI) scale, which measures how much participants care about social approval.

Kim found that high ATSCI individuals avoided potentially attention-garnering brand choices such as those involving distinctive brands or conspicuous brand logos.

"Our findings indicate that in making their brand choices, many consumers are willing to sacrifice distinctiveness and individuality in order to reduce the possibility of disapproval by others," Kim pointed out.

The study was published in the journal Marketing Letters.


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