Rosellina Ferraro, James R. Bettman, Tanya L. Chartrand; The Power of Strangers: The Effect of Incidental Consumer Brand Encounters on Brand Choice. J Consum Res 2009; 35 (5): 729-741. doi: 10.1086/592944
In the course of daily encounters with other consumers, an individual may be incidentally exposed to various brands. We refer to these situations as incidental consumer brand encounters (ICBEs). This research examines how ICBEs influence brand choice. Four studies provide evidence that repeated exposure to simulated ICBEs increases choice of the focal brand for people not aware of the brand exposure, that perceptual fluency underlies these effects, and that these effects are moderated by perceivers' automatic responses to the type of user observed with the brand.