Marketing Letters

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 5–19 | Cite as

Explaining the Familiarity-Liking Relationship: Mere Exposure, Information Availability, or Social Desirability?

  • Aric Rindfleisch
  • J. Inman


A large and diverse body of marketing literature suggests that well-known brands enjoy several advantages compared to less familiar brands. Specifically, brands with higher levels of familiarity appear to achieve higher levels of liking or preference among both consumers and retailers. This familiarity-liking relationship has proven to be one of marketing's most robust and reproducible empirical generalizations. However, there remains a considerable amount of uncertainty as to the conditions under which this relationship arises. In this study, we identify, conceptualize, and empirically assess three alternative hypotheses of the familiarity-liking relationship: mere exposure, information availability, and social desirability. Our results suggest that social desirability is the most powerful of these three potential mechanisms underlying the familiarity-liking phenomenon.

Consumer decision making brand familiarity double jeopardy information availability mere exposure product and brand choice social desirability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aric Rindfleisch
    • 1
  • J. Inman
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Business and Public AdministrationUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.School of BusinessUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison

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