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Price as a Stimulus to Think: The Case for Willful Overpricing

Author

Listed:
  • Luc Wathieu

    () (Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

  • Marco Bertini

    () (London Business School, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4SA United Kingdom)

Abstract

Consumers aware of a new benefit will often experience uncertainty about its personal relevance or usage value. This paper shows that the decision to deliberate further to resolve this uncertainty and reach a polarized judgment of personal relevance critically depends on the posted price. In particular, a price above the consumer's initial willingness to pay might be thought provoking and enhance the perception of relevance with a certain probability. This behavioral mechanism is introduced formally and by way of an experiment with reference to the purchase of organic lettuce and fair-trade coffee. Accounting for the effect of price as a stimulus to think, a monopolistic firm should either over price (“transgressive pricing”) or under price (“regressive pricing”) in comparison to the consumer's willingness to pay. Under certain circumstances, the firm should also empower consumers with means that reduce the effort of deliberation.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Wathieu & Marco Bertini, 2007. "Price as a Stimulus to Think: The Case for Willful Overpricing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(1), pages 118-129, 01-02.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:26:y:2007:i:1:p:118-129
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1060.0222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alfred Taudes & Christian Rudloff, 2012. "Integrating inventory control and a price change in the presence of reference price effects: a two-period model," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 75(1), pages 29-65, February.
    2. Marco Bertini & Luc Wathieu, 2008. "Research Note—Attention Arousal Through Price Partitioning," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(2), pages 236-246, 03-04.
    3. James Agarwal & Wayne DeSarbo & Naresh K. Malhotra & Vithala Rao, 2015. "An Interdisciplinary Review of Research in Conjoint Analysis: Recent Developments and Directions for Future Research," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 2(1), pages 19-40, March.
    4. Gensler, Sonja & Hinz, Oliver & Skiera, Bernd & Theysohn, Sven, 2012. "Willingness-to-pay estimation with choice-based conjoint analysis: Addressing extreme response behavior with individually adapted designs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 219(2), pages 368-378.
    5. repec:eee:jbrese:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:219-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Erica Herpen & Erjen Nierop & Laurens Sloot, 2012. "The relationship between in-store marketing and observed sales for organic versus fair trade products," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 293-308, March.
    7. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Naufel Vilcassim & Amar Cheema & Yuxin Chen & Gregory Crawford & Kartik Hosanagar & Raghuram Iyengar & Oded Koenigsberg & Robin Lee & Eugenio Miravete & Ozge Sahin, 2012. "Price discrimination in service industries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 423-438, June.
    8. Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane & Baohong Sun, 2008. "A Dynamic Model of Brand Choice When Price and Advertising Signal Product Quality," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(6), pages 1111-1125, 11-12.
    9. Liang Guo & Juanjuan Zhang, 2012. "Consumer Deliberation and Product Line Design," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(6), pages 995-1007, November.
    10. repec:spr:compst:v:75:y:2012:i:1:p:29-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Robert J. Meyer & Shenghui Zhao & Jin K. Han, 2008. "Biases in Valuation vs. Usage of Innovative Product Features," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(6), pages 1083-1096, 11-12.
    12. Ruijiao Guo & Purushottam Papatla, 2015. "Base + Add-on Pricing in Extremely Competitive Categories," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 2(2), pages 133-147, June.
    13. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2009. "Product Variety and Endogenous Pricing with Evaluation Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1338-1346, August.
    14. Patrice Cailleba & Herbert Casteran, 2010. "Do Ethical Values Work? A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Fair Trade Coffee on Consumer Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(4), pages 613-624, December.
    15. Manoj Thomas & Daniel H. Simon & Vrinda Kadiyali, 2010. "The Price Precision Effect: Evidence from Laboratory and Market Data," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 175-190, 01-02.

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