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Consumption Experience and Sales Promotion Expenditure


  • Claes Fornell

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109)

  • William T. Robinson

    (Krannert Graduate School, Purdue University, West Layfeyette, Indiana 47907)

  • Birger Wernerfelt

    (J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northeastern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201)


An economic theory of habit formation through consumption learning is developed to explain order differences in relative sales promotion expenditures among brands. The theory applies to consumer brands in equilibrium markets, where consumer information from sources other than advertising, sales promotion, and previous consumption experience is negligible. Three propositions are derived from the theory: brands with more consumption experience (1) spend proportionately less on sales promotion as well as (2) on advertising and promotion combined, and (3) place proportionately more emphasis on advertising relative to sales promotion. These propositions are formulated as hypotheses and tested against empirical data from the PIMS project. It is found that the data are generally consistent with the propositions. In order to examine the robustness of the results, the hypotheses are subjected to three different empirical tests, each with different assumptions. The findings are shown to be reasonably robust with respect to these changes in assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Claes Fornell & William T. Robinson & Birger Wernerfelt, 1985. "Consumption Experience and Sales Promotion Expenditure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(9), pages 1084-1105, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:31:y:1985:i:9:p:1084-1105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian I. Mitroff, 1972. "The Myth of Objectivity OR Why Science Needs a New Psychology of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages 613-618, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raju, Jagmohan S., 1995. "Theoretical models of sales promotions: Contributions, limitations, and a future research agenda," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 1-17, August.
    2. William Boulding & Markus Christen, 2008. "Disentangling Pioneering Cost Advantages and Disadvantages," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 699-716, 07-08.
    3. Ringle, Christian M., 2006. "Segmentation for path models and unobserved heterogeneity: The finite mixture partial least squares approach," MPRA Paper 10734, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Esposito Vinzi, Vincenzo & Ringle, Christian M. & Squillacciotti, Silvia & Trinchera, Laura, 2007. "Capturing and Treating Unobserved Heterogeneity by Response Based Segmentation in PLS Path Modeling. A Comparison of Alternative Methods by Computational Experiments," ESSEC Working Papers DR 07019, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    5. Jean-Pierre Dubé & Puneet Manchanda, 2005. "Differences in Dynamic Brand Competition Across Markets: An Empirical Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 81-95, September.
    6. Ruiz-Ortega, Mari­a José & Garci­a-Villaverde, Pedro Manuel, 2008. "Capabilities and competitive tactics influences on performance: Implications of the moment of entry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 332-345, April.
    7. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Antonio Ladrón de Guevara-Martínez, 2009. "A state-dependent model of hybrid behavior with rational consumers in the attribute space," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 33(3), pages 347-383, September.
    8. Nair, Anand & Narasimhan, Ram, 2006. "Dynamics of competing with quality- and advertising-based goodwill," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 462-474, November.
    9. Covin, Jeffrey G. & Slevin, Dennis P. & Heeley, Michael B., 2000. "Pioneers and followers: Competitive tactics, environment, and firm growth," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 175-210, March.
    10. Adesoga Dada Adefulu, 2015. "Promotional Strategy Impacts on Organizational Market Share and Profitability," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 11(6), pages 20-33, December.
    11. Song, Michael & Zhao, Y. Lisa & Di Benedetto, C. Anthony, 2013. "Do perceived pioneering advantages lead to first-mover decisions?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1143-1152.

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    marketing; advertising/promotion;


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