Compiled By Jill Jusko Familiar brand names are important to many consumers when selecting food, beverages and consumer products, but cost is a key component in cementing their buying decisions, shows a new survey conducted for Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association. Some 49% of survey respondents indicated that a familiar brand name was the first or second most important element when making a purchase at the supermarket. On the other hand, some 82% said they frequently consider a product's price before making a final selection, and 55% indicated that a coupon or in-store sale was the first or second most important consideration in making a purchase. In other findings from the survey -- conducted to explore how national brands influence buying decisions -- three-quarters (76%) of survey respondents said they consider a product's brand before making a final buying decision, and 67% said they would "chase the brand" to a different store or delay the purchase if it wasn't available. "Clearly national brands have a prominent place in the hearts and lives of American consumers," says GMA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Gene Grabowski. The 56-question survey of 800 adults was fielded April 5-8, 2002, by the polling co., a Washington, D.C.-based market-research and consulting firm.