A widely held assumption is that brands purchased by the family will continue to be purchased by the children when they become adults. However, little consumer research actually exists on continued parental influence on young adults’ purchasing decisions. Using data from two surveys of over 500 students in a four‐year undergraduate business program, two studies examined parental influence (the degree to which brands purchased by students corresponded to brands purchased by parents), roommate influence, and additional factors such as price perceptions, brand differences, and brand comparisons. Discrete choice regression analyses (ordered probit) in both surveys revealed that correspondence with parental brand choice decreased significantly with year in university. As parental influence lessened, brand choice correspondence with roommates increased. The reduction in parental influence may indicate an important marketing opportunity. When a student leaves home, their brand loyalties shift significantly from that of the family unit.
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