Single-Brand Experience Vs. Multiple-Brand Experience: Another Perspective on Consumer Preference Formation

Mitchell Hamilton, Syracuse University, USA
Omar Woodham, North Carolina State A&T, USA
While the marketing and psychology fields have merged together to offer a wealth of knowledge dedicated to the consumer preference formation process, a majority of these studies assume that a consumer forms her/his preferences in the following sequence: (1st) Prior to experiencing a product, a consumer’s preferences are weakly formed due to the lack of product category knowledge and the ambiguity of the ideal attribute combination; (2nd) the consumer’s initial experience with the new product category typically involves the pioneering brand; and (3rd) after the initial product trial, the consumer experiences some of the competing brands while constantly updating her/his preferences. Absent from the consumer preference formation literature is the consideration of a consumer that has only experienced a single brand, even though other competing brands exist. The results of the current study suggest that experienced-first and variety-seeking customers both form preferences that are stronger than the preferences formed by win-back customers. Furthermore, the brand preference strength of experienced-first and variety-seeking customers appear to be equally strong.
[ to cite ]:
Mitchell Hamilton and Omar Woodham (2011) ,"Single-Brand Experience Vs. Multiple-Brand Experience: Another Perspective on Consumer Preference Formation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 884-885.