اثرات جاذبه و برتری در بازار شیلی : آیا آنها با نام های تجاری (برند) واقعی وجود دارند ؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2041||2013||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 31 January 2013
Consumer researchers show much interest in how the addition of products to a choice set changes the alignment of choice shares of existing products, specifically the attraction and superiority effects. Research in developed countries accounts for the vast majority of studies on these effects. Findings demonstrate that the attraction and superiority effects are robust when brand names are absent from product offerings. Testing whether these effects, with unbranded alternatives, will generalize to a different cultural context, in particular the Chilean market, is important. In addition, this paper extends prior research by further testing the generalizability of these effects in more realistic market scenarios that include brand alternatives. In the absence of brands, these effects generalize to the Chilean market; however, the inclusion of brands moderates these effects such that the results show no evidence of the attraction or superiority effects when the entrant's brand is more familiar than competitors' brands. The explanation for this observation is that consumers prefer more familiar brand alternatives even when these options are inferior with regard to product attribute trade-offs.
The vast majority of consumer behavior research originates in developed countries. To inform strategic marketing decisions, researchers and managers need to understand when consumer behavior in other countries generalizes to different cultural contexts, in this case the Chilean market. One area in consumer research that marketers express a good deal of interest in is how the addition of products changes relative positions and the alignment of choice shares of existing products (e.g., Huber and Puto, 1983, Pan and Lehmann, 1993, Simonson, 1989 and Simonson and Tversky, 1992). The attraction effect is a well-established finding that demonstrates that the addition of a product alternative with inferior attribute trade-offs (dominated) to a choice set can increase the choice probability (attractiveness) of an existing alternative when that alternative is dominant with respect to the attribute trade-offs (e.g., Huber et al., 1982, Huber and Puto, 1983 and Sen, 1998). Additionally, consumers are more likely to prefer product options that are superior with respect to product attribute trade-offs, that is, the superiority effect (Simonson & Tversky, 1992). While these effects are robust (e.g., Dhar and Simonson, 2003, Heath and Chatterjee, 1995, Huber and Puto, 1983, Huber et al., 1982, Simonson, 1989 and Simonson and Tversky, 1992), several studies identify factors that moderate them. Many moderators reflect more realistic scenarios that consumers face in the marketplace, such as time pressure (Dhar, Nowlis, & Sherman, 2000), product category knowledge, stimulus meaningfulness (Mishra et al., 1993 and Ratneshwar et al., 1987), attribute importance (Malaviya and Sivakumar, 1998), involvement in the task, perceived decoy popularity (Mishra et al., 1993 and Simonson, 1989), similarity among alternatives (Huber & Puto, 1983), and the option to defer choice (Dhar & Simonson, 2003). Although these studies heed the call for more realism, by better reflecting the marketplace and how “consumers typically operate in (real life)” (Houghton, Kardes, Mathieu, & Simonson, 1999, p. 108), ironically, a closer examination of the choice alternatives shows that researchers denote these product options with letters (i.e., Option A, Option B, etc.) rather than by real brand names that consumers would confront in the marketplace (Ha et al., 2009, Houghton et al., 1999, Huber and Puto, 1983 and Huber et al., 1982). Other researchers note this important omission (Lehmann & Pan, 1994) and they agree that if the purpose of a study is to disentangle brand effects from other contextual cues, such as product category effects, the use of fictitious or disguised brands is appropriate. However, to the extent that brand name is likely to be a diagnostic cue, one can argue that brand name should be a consideration in the experimental design (Broniarczyk & Alba, 1994), as otherwise omitting brands is problematic and a threat to the external validity of a research stream (Klink & Smith, 2001). The inclusion of brand names is not just another variable that, if present, can moderate the attraction and superiority effects; brand names are always present in the marketplace and thus, constitute a critical reality. In situations where brand names are absent, a comparison of product attribute levels among alternatives should drive consumer choice. In today's marketplace, however, consumers typically can choose from a variety of increasingly similar product offerings. What often differentiates product offerings is the brand. Brands vary with respect to a myriad of dimensions such as familiarity, liking, and image. In addition, brands provide value that goes beyond product attributes. When consumers choose among competing brands, they often look for cues to reduce their risk and researchers find brand name to be a universal signal of quality and risk reduction that is invariant across cultures (Dawar & Parker, 1994). Further, brands play an important role and in some cases are the major determinants of choice (e.g., Bristow et al., 2002, Erdem et al., 2006, Heilman et al., 2000 and Hoyer and Brown, 1990). Therefore, the objective of this research is to explicate situations where the attraction and superiority effects occur in more realistic settings that include brand alternatives. In particular, this research examines whether the attraction and superiority effects when brands are absent generalize to Chilean consumers and further tests these effects considering real brands. To understand the impact of brands, this study varies the level of relative brand familiarity among alternatives in a choice set. Relative brand familiarity refers to a consumer's assessment of familiarity with the product entrant brand relative to his or her familiarity with competitor brands in a choice set. This research investigates brand familiarity as a starting point for several important reasons. First, the value that a brand represents to consumers depends both on their familiarity with the brand and on the favorability, strength and uniqueness of brand associations (Keller, 1993). However, when consumers are unfamiliar with a brand they are unlikely to have many, if any, brand associations. Second, research provides compelling evidence that brand familiarity is a powerful risk reducing cue that influences consumer preferences among competitor brands (Heilman et al., 2000 and Hoyer and Brown, 1990). Third, brand credibility and consideration are dependent on familiarity (Erdem & Swait, 2004). Finally, pairing a brand with more or less familiar competitors in a product assortment moderates a brand's attractiveness (Chernev, 2006). Therefore, as a first step in examining brands as moderators of the attraction and superiority effects, this study includes product entrant brands that consumers perceive to be relatively more or less familiar than the competitor brands in a choice set. This paper concludes by addressing the implications of the findings as they relate to the boundaries and ecological validity of earlier studies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this research is to examine whether the attraction effect and preferences for offerings with superior attribute trade-offs, that is, the superiority effect, generalize to Chilean consumers when brands are absent from the product alternatives as well as to more realistic market conditions that include real brand names. The findings demonstrate that the attraction effect occurs when an inferior entrant has no brand or when an inferior entrant's brand is relatively less familiar than a target brand. To the contrary, when an inferior entrant brand is relatively more familiar than a target brand the results do not support the attraction effect. Additionally, consumers only prefer alternatives with superior attribute trade-offs in the absence of brands and when a superior brand is relatively more familiar than an entrant brand with inferior attribute trade-offs. However, this finding does not hold when an inferior entrant's brand is relatively more familiar than the alternatives' brands. Thus, the attraction and superiority effects appear, not surprisingly, to be sensitive to the presence of real brands. The results suggest that these effects may only occur when consumers are choosing among unfamiliar brands (fictitious or unknown) or when brands are more or less equally familiar. One should be concerned about the presence of real brands being absent from prior research, as the findings from this study represent significant boundary conditions. The findings also support the idea that brand familiarity is a strong cue influencing consumer choice and may be more diagnostic at times of product performance than the attribute trade-offs among products in a choice set. This result raises an important issue as to when brand cues in general influence consumers more than the product attribute levels. Further, this study supports the argument that when brand name proves to be an important diagnostic cue, researchers should include brands in the experimental design (Broniarczyk & Alba, 1994). Another interesting result from this study worth further discussion is consumers' preferences for alternatives with inferior attribute trade-offs when a brand is relatively more familiar than that of a target brand. Prior research on the attraction effect demonstrates that preferences for an alternative increase when that alternative's attribute trade-offs dominate an entrant that is closer, and that this gain in share comes at the expense of the more distant competitive alternative (share shifts from competitor to target). Additionally, studies provide evidence for the substitution effect, that is, an alternative is more likely to gain share from another alternative that is closer, more similar (share shifts from target to entrant). However, studies in this stream of research do not consider the phenomenon whereby an entrant with inferior attribute trade-offs (decoy) receives share at the expense of a distant competitor (share shifts from competitor to decoy). The reason researchers did not consider this phenomenon previously is that this situation rarely, if ever, occurs as there is absolutely no logic or reasonable expectation that consumers would prefer a product entrant with inferior attribute trade-offs to a competitive alternative that is in a distant position. The findings of this study, however, suggest that in addition to a substitution effect, which in part can be attributed to the relative brand familiarity of the target and decoy, consumers' preferences can shift from a more distant competitor to a decoy with inferior attribute trade-offs when the brand name is relatively more familiar (competitor share shifts to decoy). See Fig. 4. Figure options This research contributes conceptually to the choice literature by demonstrating that the current knowledge on the attraction and superiority effects needs updating because researchers under appreciate brands when building theories regarding these effects. Specifically, this study demonstrates that the relative familiarity of competing brands moderates these effects. The results support the notion that brands matter and that attribute trade-offs among product alternatives may not be as strong of a determinant of consumer choice as previous research in this stream suggests. So, the fact that this stream of research generally overlooks brands, may lead to an overestimation of the attraction and superiority effects. Additionally, the inclusion of brands adds value to marketing practice because incorporating brands considers not only consumers' reality, but also the true environment in which managers make strategic decisions regarding the entry and positioning of products in a market. Further, replicating and extending previous research in a different cultural context is an important step in understanding the extent to which choice behaviors may vary from one culture to another and the extent to which they may be invariant. Finally, by investigating how brands influence these effects, the authors answer the call in consumer research for more realism, for managerial relevance (Reibstein et al., 2009 and Winer, 1999), and for the “lack of research emphasizing cross-cultural similarities or laws in marketing” (Dawar & Parker, 1994, p. 81). 5.1. Limitations and future research While these results demonstrate a significant boundary condition for the attraction and superiority effects, some limitations exist. First, to increase the generalizability of these findings, researchers should investigate additional product categories, brands, and brand dimensions. More importantly, to demonstrate whether the effects in scenarios where brands are both absent and present are invariant to cultural differences, future research should replicate these findings in more countries. Second, the results may be sensitive to the level of brand familiarity, the degree of inferiority of the decoy, and the diagnosticity of the attribute information. For example, Sinn et al. (2007) find that the relative brand familiarity among alternatives does not diminish consumers' preferences for superior alternatives. Although the inferior brand in their study is relatively more familiar than the superior brand, the absolute level of the inferior brand's familiarity is only in the moderate range (M = 4.5 on a seven point scale). Thus, as they suggest, consumers may have limited knowledge of that brand, and so the brand name does not evoke a rich set of associations that they value. In this study, the inferior brands are not only relatively more familiar than the superior alternatives, but also highly familiar in an absolute sense (M = 6.7 for Canon and M = 6.8 for HP on seven point scales). Therefore, while relative brand familiarity is an important cue, familiarity levels must be sufficiently high to evoke important brand associations in order to detect a familiarity effect. Future studies should also examine the effects of brands when the levels of familiarity among the alternatives are similar and vary other brand dimensions or associations. This would reflect a more realistic market scenario as often brands occupying consumers' consideration sets are ones that are familiar but vary with respect to other brand dimensions. Finally, identifying the degree of attribute trade-off inferiority consumers are willing to accept because of the value they attach to particular brands is an important topic for future research and a potentially useful measure of brand equity. In conclusion, this research demonstrates that brands matter and that attribute trade-offs among product alternatives may not be as strong of a determinant of consumer choice as previous research suggests. Consumer researchers and practitioners alike should be somewhat apprehensive that the presence of real brands is absent from this stream of research (Ha et al., 2009). Therefore, future research in this area should incorporate real brands because brands are always part of the consumers' decision environment, that is, a critical reality. While in the early stages of theory development concerns about external validity are often secondary to those of internal validity, as Lynch (1982, p. 234) notes, if results supporting a theory lack external validity, then “the theory is at a minimum incomplete, and it is quite possibly just plain wrong.” Consequently, if researchers wish to affect managerial decision making and offer guidance, theories regarding consumer choice need to consider brands when modeling the attraction and superiority effects. This study is an important step in this direction.