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The CBA Effect

Aka: “Cool by association”

The CBA Effect is the name given to a psychological tactic used by marketing strategists to influence consumer behavior.

Think back to the last time a friend showed off a new purchase and explained that it was made in a certain country or that it was the same product used by a certain celebrity.

Some people buy based on aspiration, not their current immediate needs. The CBA Effect works by highlighting a specific part of the brand or product’s identity that the target market desires to be associated with.

How do marketing strategists leverage this tactic? They highlight things like the country of origin, a celebrity endorsement or an ideal persona achieving a desirable outcome using their product or service. In general people like to appear “in the know”, this desire carries over into their purchasing decisions.

Here are a few examples that you may recall from various advertisements:

  • Made in Italy
  • True leaders choose … 
  • Superior minds read …
  • The best athletes trust …
  • The real gamers use …

The truth is, the “made in Italy” moniker is incredibly well-known and respected around the world because Italy has long had the technical and hand-craft knowledge to create masterpieces of wearable art—from the finest cashmere knits to the most coveted leather pumps.


Here are a handful of examples

Read more about the CBA Effect:

Kylie Jenner helped two 20-something best friends turn a few thousand bucks into a $40 million brand

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