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The Influence of Product Variety on Brand Perception and Choice

  • Berger, Jonah

    (Stanford U)

  • Draganska, Michaela
  • Simonson, Itamar

We propose that the variety a brand offers can influence brand quality perceptions, and consequently, affect brand choice, even when the available option set is held constant. Specifically, brands that offer greater variety of compatible (i.e., focused and internally consistent) options are expected to be perceived as having greater commitment and expertise in the category, which, in turn, enhances their perceived quality and purchase likelihood. The results of six studies support this proposition and demonstrate that (a) brands offering increased compatible variety were perceived as having higher quality; (b) this effect was mediated by product variety's impact on perceived expertise-commitment; (c) the higher perceived quality led to a higher choice share of brands offering greater product variety, even amongst options identical options offered by multiple brands; and (d) product variety also impacted post-experience perceptions of taste.

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File URL: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP1938.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1938.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1938
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  1. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  2. Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
  3. Michaela Draganska & Dipak C. Jain, 2005. "Product-Line Length as a Competitive Tool," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  4. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
  5. Levin, Irwin P & Gaeth, Gary J, 1988. " How Consumers Are Affected by the Framing of Attribute Information before and after Consuming the Product," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 374-78, December.
  6. Sunder Kekre & Kannan Srinivasan, 1990. "Broader Product Line: A Necessity to Achieve Success?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1216-1232, October.
  7. Greenleaf, Eric A & Lehmann, Donald R, 1995. " Reasons for Substantial Delay in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 186-99, September.
  8. John T. Gourville & Dilip Soman, 2005. "Overchoice and Assortment Type: When and Why Variety Backfires," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 382-395, July.
  9. Chernev, Alexander, 2003. " When More Is Less and Less Is More: The Role of Ideal Point Availability and Assortment in Consumer Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 170-83, September.
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