What is the Halo Effect? | Market Research Firm Syracuse, NY

What is the Halo Effect? | Market Research Firm Syracuse, NY

The Halo Effect is the result of a respondent in market research having a generally positive or negative feeling about a company, experience, or product impact other and more specific criteria asked elsewhere in the survey. Basically it means if a person is a Coca-Coca loyalist, and they are asked to take a survey on Coca-Cola, they will rate Coca-Cola strong on price, store location, design of can, etc. Their overall generalization of loving Coca-Cola trumps more specific criteria regardless of whether or not those scores differ.

The Halo Effect in market research can also have a negative effect on data. This is often seen in service industries where the customer experience is a major driver to overall satisfaction. For example, let's say you go in to buy a new SUV at your local car dealership. You have your mind set on a Jeep Grand Cherokee and after months of research you know the exact color, model, and specifications for the Jeep you want to buy from the dealer. But, from the time you walk-in to the time you are handed your keys, the salesperson was terrible to you. They didn't answer your questions correctly, they were pre-occupied with other customers half-the-time, and they recorded incorrect information on your loan application multiple times because they weren't listening.

Two weeks later you receive an email with a link to an online survey which inquires about your vehicle buying experience. The survey covers price, cleanliness of the dealership, and questions about your short driving experience with the SUV so far. But the experience was so bad with the salesperson that it taints all of your responses negatively and all scores suffer. As a result of this Halo Effect from the salesperson, it created a negative generalization towards your vehicle.

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