Perception of Brand Consciousness Among University Students, A Psychological Perspective


Written By Shehzadi Sarah

It is a common observation nowadays that people want to or they like to buy only those products that are of a certain renowned company, this habit has become a pure consciousness for buying expensive and trendy products and this is what we call brand consciousness. Brand Consciousness refers to the degree to which people use brand names to make purchase decisions.

Brand Consciousness

Afzal, (2013) reported that shopping is loved by a large number of people throughout the world. Shopping for the shopaholics is an experience rather than a task. Most of the shopping lovers today are brand conscious and label-driven. They incline to buy products made by certain renowned companies. Interestingly this phenomenon can mainly be seen among the upper and upper middle class shoppers. This research is based on the increasing brand consciousness among people; what do these brands offer, why do people prefer them, who buys them and what are those complexes that are being created by this trend.

It is a very appealing observation that A decade ago M.M Alam road in Lahore had a few shops and restaurants but today it has turned into a nucleus of fashion and brands. HSY, GucciCaanchi and LugariLevi’s, Hajra Hayat, you name the brand and its available there. The increasing likeness and preference for particular brands can be especially seen in the purchase of clothes, accessories and perfumes which are here because people are developing brand consciousnesses. If u ask people about those accessories in which they prefer a famous brand they will mostly tell the names of perfumes, bags, shoes and clothes. This development also depicts the change in shopping trends of people whose preference for designer clothes and accessories has increased. Although branded products are mainly the domain of the well-off, yet the awareness of different brands is increasing among all. Previously some years ago only the rich ones used to be distinguished through their expensive brands that they used but know every class of society is getting brand conscious.

There is a lot of competition. However, some brands are more popular than the others. They can be widely divided into three categories. Firstly we have brands that are mostly popular among the youth. Some of the famous names in this category are Levi’s, Outfitters, Crossroads, Stone age, Gravity, River Stone etc.

Psychological Perspective:

Bill Nissim is consultant at nonprofit organizations in UK and writes on brand management issues. He has very well explained the psychology of preference. The psychology behind human behavior as it pertains to brand selection can be both basic and complicated at the same time. Bill explores this mystery by investigating noted authors’ insight into the realm of brand preference. By unveiling current research and opinions of experts, a convergence of ideologies will advocate techniques in order to deepen current and potential relationships. Methods will be introduced which evoke the use of our five senses to evaluate, develop, and drive a deeply-rooted brand preference. He first explains how we interact with our surroundings. (Nissim,2013).

To better understand the process of preference, let’s first look at a basic communications model. The five components of this model are sender, medium, filter, receiver, and feedback. On a daily basis, we are exposed to messages (sender/medium) via our radio, television, billboards, Internet, mail, and word-of-mouth. Although these messages are pervasive, we continually screen out (perceptual screen) or ignore content that has little or no relevance to us. All messages are coded patterns and sensations – colors, sounds, odors, shapes, etc. Those messages deemed recognizable, or a basis for a relationship, are decoded and stored in our memory (filter/screen). A successful convergence between sender and receiver will result in some type of response to a brand’s compelling message (feedback). Stored experiences in our long-term memory are connected through a series of nodes and networks. An example could be all the associations you might have with the word Starbucks—including coffee, rich aroma, relaxing, sofa, earth tones, etc. As presented by Shultz and Barnes, “This node and connection process, called spreading activation, makes every person different” (Strategic Brand Communications Campaigns, 1999). Since we all have different experiences, connections, and relationships, this supports a theory that the consumer, not the organization, owns the brand.

It is known that creating customer loyalty is neither strategic nor tactic; rather, it is way through which a customer gets brand conscious. When the customer continuously gets loyal to a brand it results in brand consciousness. So, what constitutes brand loyalty? According to Bloemer and Kasper, brand loyalty implies that consumers bind themselves to products or services as a result of a deep-seated commitment. To exemplify this point, they rendered a distinction between repeat purchases and actual brand loyalty. In their published research, they assert that a repeat purchase behavior “is the actual re-buying of a brand” whereas loyalty includes “antecedents” or a reason/fact occurring before the behavior.


Scott Davis in his book “Brand Asset Management says “A strong brand position means the brand has a unique, credible, sustainable, and valued place in the customer’s mind. It revolves around a benefit that helps your product or service stand apart from the competition. Organizations look for developing and projecting brand perceptions based on internally motivated needs and goals.


Due to the sheer volume of messages we encounter on a daily basis, the human mind can’t begin to cope with interpreting them all. In Jack Trout’s book “Differentiate or Die” he notes some statistics:

  • Humans tolerate constant daily electronic bombardment
  • Printed knowledge doubles every four to five years
  • 4,000 books are published around the world every day
  • The world wide web grows by 1,000,000 pages each day!
  • You’ve watched 140,000 TV commercial by the age 18


  • Perceptions are selective
  • Memory is highly selective
  • There is a physiological limitation to processing stimuli
  • A dramatic difference is needed in crowded category



  • Minds are both emotional and rational
  • Purchasing decisions are really not known
  • Recall—minds remember things that no longer exist

In Nutshell, There are many students who when get admissions in universities are very simple in their clothing and other accessories but with time their dressing starts changing , their personality starts grooming and they begin to develop the habit of buying expensive and stylish products. Just to know what are those factors that push such students to change their whole attire. Is it that peer pressure which forces them to change their personalities? Is it that complex which they develop while they spend time with their wealthy colleagues? Or is it the social desirability or the desire to feel like a high class that forces them to be brand conscious? To get answers of  these question this research is conducted.

If we observe all this from an Islamic perspective, as a Muslim we are not allowed for this extravagant and wasteful behavior. Even then people spend endless money on branded products. This is result in an intense inferiority complex among people thus contributing to effecting the mental health of an individual in a negative manner.


  • A.(2013). Brand Consciousness in Pakistan. Retrieved from
  • Nissim,B.(2013).The Psychology Of Preference. Retrieved from