The Role of Effort Advantage in Consumer Response to Loyalty Programs: The Idiosyncratic Fit Heuristic
Over the past few years, customer relationship management and loyalty programs (LPs) have been widely adopted by companies and have received a great deal of attention from marketers, consultants, and, to a lesser degree, academics. In this research, we examine the effect of the level of effort required to obtain a LP's reward on consumers' perception of the LP's attractiveness. We propose that, under certain conditions, increasing the program requirements can enhance consumers' likelihood of joining the program, thus leading consumers to prefer a dominated option. Specifically, we hypothesize that consumers often evaluate LPs based on their individual effort to obtain the reward relative to the relevant reference effort (e.g., the effort of typical other consumers). When consumers believe they have an effort advantage relative to typical others (i.e., an idiosyncratic fit with the LP), higher program requirements magnify this perception of advantage and can therefore increase the overall perceived value of the program. This proposition was supported in a series of studies in which the perceived idiosyncratic fit was manipulated either by reducing the individual effort or by raising the reference effort. The findings also indicate that (a) idiosyncratic fit considerations are elicited spontaneously, (b) idiosyncratic fit mediates the effect of effort on consumer response to LPs, and (c) an alternative account for the results based on signaling is not supported. We conclude that these findings are part of a broader phenomenon, which we term the idiosyncratic fit heuristic, whereby a key factor that affects consumers' response to marketing programs and promotional offers is the perceived relative advantage or fit with the individual's idiosyncratic conditions and preferences.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015|
Phone: (650) 723-2146
Web page: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Itamar Simonson & Ziv Carmon & Suzanne O'Curry, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on the Negative Effect of Product Features and Sales Promotions on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 23-40.
- Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- Corfman, Kim P & Lehmann, Donald R, 1993. " The Importance of Others' Welfare in Evaluating Bargaining Outcomes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 124-37, June.
- Borenstein, S., 1993. "Repeat Buyer Programs in Network industries," Papers 93-10, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Hsee, Christopher K., 1996. "The Evaluability Hypothesis: An Explanation for Preference Reversals between Joint and Separate Evaluations of Alternatives," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 247-257, September.
- Byung-Do Kim & Mengze Shi & Kannan Srinivasan, 2001. "Reward Programs and Tacit Collusion," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(2), pages 99-120, June.
- Matthew Rabin., 1992.
"Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics,"
Economics Working Papers
92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
- Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
- M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
- Winer, Russell S, 1986. " A Reference Price Model of Brand Choice for Frequently Purchased Products," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 250-56, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1738r. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.