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

By Thomas J. Reynolds; Jerry C. Olson | Go to book overview
understatement. As emphasized in this chapter, significant conceptual and methodological issues in studying consumer motivations are as yet not adequately addressed by the proponents of means-end chains. To impose the substantial additional burden of mapping consumers' cognitive structures, or even the motivationally relevant parts of such structures, seems unwise. We are asking too much from any single approach for answers to two of the most vexing questions marketers continually ask:
1. Why do consumers buy this product (and how can I influence them to buy more of it)?
2. How do consumers think about this product (and how should I change this perception)?

Laddering seems much better able to provide useful insights about the first of these significant topics, especially as more thought is given to important imbedded assumptions about purchase motivations and the risks and limitations of searching for motives that may have very little bearing on consumers' decisions.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We thank Richard J. Lutz for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter.


REFERENCES

Ajzen, I., & Sexton, J. (1999). Depth of processing, belief congruence, and attitude-behavior correspondence. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual-process theories in social psychology (pp. 117–138). London: Guilford Press.

Alba, J. W., Hutchinson, J. W., & Lynch, J. G., Jr. (1991). Memory and decision making. In T. S. Robertson & H. H. Kassarjian (Eds.), Handbook of Consumer Behavior (pp. 1–49). Engle-wood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Allport, G. W. (1955). Becoming: Basic considerations for a psychology of personality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Anderson, J. R. (1983). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Atkinson, J. W. (1964). An introduction to motivation. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.

Bargh, J. A., & Barndollar, K. (1996). Automaticity in action: The unconscious as repository of chronic goals and motives. In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 457–481). London: Guilford Press.

Bither, S. W., & Miller, S. J. (1969, Fall). A cognitive theory view of brand preference. Proceedings of the Conference American Marketing Association, 280–286.

Bruner, J. S. (1957). On perceptual readiness. Psychological Review, 64, 123–157.

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