Nearly 80 percent of recent home computer and computer accessory buyers rated brand name as an important or very important factor in their buying decision, according to the Fall 2008 Ad-ology Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey. The survey also found that online media increasingly influences buyers. A majority of respondents said they were influenced by manufacturer Web sites (74.5%) and online product reviews (68.2%). A higher percentage of respondents prefer to buy these products online versus other retail categories studied. Nearly 40 percent of computer purchasers surveyed prefer to buy online, and that figure jumps to nearly 60 percent for the 35-to-44 age group. That age group also showed a considerably higher rate of influence by social networks and consumer generated media with nearly 84 percent of respondents reporting some or significant influence. “Successful manufacturers provide the technical details consumers want and monitor user generated content,” said C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. “Online product reviews are very influential and these online conversations help build brand loyalty, and ultimately reinforce the purchase decision,” Smith said. Other key findings from the survey: • Of recent buyers, the breakdown by age category is very evenly split, even across the older demographics • Approximately 44 percent of males prefer buying computers/computer accessories online, compared to 29 percent of females • Young purchasers (18 to 24) say the latest trend is an important factor in the purchase decision • Online video was most influential for purchasers ages 44 and under The Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey is conducted quarterly by Ad-ology Research to study on- and off-line media influence on buying decisions. The full report, “Media Influence on Consumer Choice: Computers, Computer Accessories” can be purchased online through Ad-ology. The 58-page downloadable report is $495 and features 24 data charts, consumer-spending estimates by market, and additional marketing insights.