Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

By Thomas J. Reynolds; Jerry C. Olson | Go to book overview

mostly elicits positive reasons for buying one or more of the brands, but these choice criteria are not linked to particular brands. Thus an analysis of brand equities and disequities at the brand level is not possible. This then severely restricts the decision-making insights that can yield useful marketing strategies at the brand level. Many of the chapters in this volume provide excellent examples of the importance of context.


SUMMARY

The means-end approach is a powerful tool for business and academic researchers. The means-end approach is particularly effective in helping researchers and managers understand consumer decision making about virtually anything, including purchase choices at the brand or product category levels. The means-end approach is capable of providing detailed understanding of very specific aspects of consumer decision making (as illustrated in several chapters of this volume). Managers then can use these insights to develop highly focused marketing and communication strategies that are intended to influence those decision processes (see chap. 9, this volume). The insights into consumer decision making provided by the means-end approach also are relevant for academic consumer researchers interested in developing deep understandings of the processes by which consumers actually make decisions.

The chapters in this book illustrate all the aspects of the means-end approach discussed here. We hope you enjoy reading them.


REFERENCES

Aurifeille, J.-M., & Valette-Florence, P. (1995). Determination of the dominant means-end chains: A constrained clustering approach. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 12, 267–278.

Cohen, J. B. (1979). The structure of product attributes: Defining attribute dimensions for planning and evaluation. In A. D. Shocker (Ed.), Analytic approaches to product and market planning (pp. 54–86). Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.

Geistfeld, L. V., Sproles, G. B., & Badenhop, S. B. (1977). The concept and measurement of a hierarchy of product characteristics. In H. K. Hunt (Ed.), Advances in consumer research, Vol. 5 (pp. 302–307). Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Consumer Research.

Gengler, C. E., Klenosky, D. B., & Mulvey, M. S. (1995). Improving the graphic representation of means-end results. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 12, 245–256.

Gengler, C. E., & Reynolds, T. R. (1995). Consumer understanding and advertising strategy: Analysis and strategic translation of laddering data. Journal of Advertising Research, 35, 19–33.

Gutman, J. (1978). Uncovering the distinctions people make versus the use of multi-attribute models: Do a number of little truths make wisdom? In Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference

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