How to Change Your Mind About Buying the Store Brand

Say you're at the grocery store, and you're shopping for laundry detergent. You know and trust the brand-name product, but there's a similar item right next to it for less. At this moment, there is a lot more going on in your brain than you may suspect — and if you're looking for ways to save, a little digging can offer a big payoff.

A new study on marketing and decision-making tackles how we deal with ambiguity when we're shopping. It may seem like an abstract question, but as shoppers, we don't often immediately have a lot of information available when it comes to quality. Most of us will rely on habit or predisposition. The good news is that we also like to keep an open mind.

Give a consumer the facts, and we're likely to make a rational choice. That means if we find out that we're paying more simply for a brand name, we'll go for a cheaper option if we understand it's the same quality. "Fully informed consumers such as doctors, chefs, or professional window cleaners are more likely than the general public to buy generic products in their domain of expertise," according to a press release. In these cases, it's worth figuring out which products are good enough for the professionals.

Obviously not all products are made to the same standard among brands and generics, but if you're looking for room in your budget, this may be an opportunity to shave off a fair percent of your total at checkout.