Feeling Superior: The Impact of Loyalty Program Structure on Consumers' Perceptions of Status
We study status as it pertains to loyalty programs, investigating the impact of the number and size of tiers on consumers' perceptions of status. We find that increasing the number of elites in the top tier dilutes perceptions of status, while adding a subordinate tier enhances status. Tiers below the second tier do not affect those at the top but can make those in the tier immediately above feel more elite. Given the choice between alternative programs, those who do not qualify for status prefer hierarchies with multiple tiers. Finally, we show that status-laden labels (gold and silver) on their own signal an increasingly selective hierarchy. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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