Video: Why Consumers Prefer One Product over Another
As consumers, we constantly make purchase decisions. Whether we buy a refrigerator for the kitchen or decide on what restaurant to go to, we usually develop a preference for one option over another early on in the process. If the option we prefer is based solely on benefits alone, what happens when price is introduced and our once preferred benefits leader is more expensive than the option with fewer benefits? Do we switch to the price leader or maintain our preference for the benefits leader?
Meg Meloy, associate professor of marketing at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, along with coauthors Kurt Carlson and Daniel Lieb of Duke University, find that, although consumers may switch to the cheaper option once price is introduced, the majority switch back in favor of the (previous) benefits leader—an effect they refer to as benefits leader reversion.
"Once someone has developed a tentative leaning toward one option or another prior to making a decision, we typically find that the information about the leader is distorted in its favor," says Meloy. "Even if you’re told that the leader is not the best option, as consumers, we have an amazing capacity to interpret that information in ways we want to."
View the video below for an in-depth explanation on benefits leader reversion from Meloy and find out what impact the findings have on marketers and retailers.