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Abstract

Brand managers strive to achieve an outstanding position in the psyche of the user by differentiating the product and service. In order to do so, brands are now often promoted by communications that focus on a trivial attribute difference. The current study tests both how the use of such an irrelevant attribute affects the perceptions of the consumer and how they rate the brand when the irrelevance of the attribute is previously revealed. The results of a controlled experiment (n = 894) show that the use of irrelevant attributes generally has a positive effect on buying behavior and that this effect is obtained even when the actual irrelevance is previously proven to the consumer. Further, the results are consistent across a variety of outcome variables, including attention, perceived uniqueness, price fairness, attitude toward the brand, and intention to buy the brand. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.