The Role of Congruence Theory in Consumer Response to Business-To-Consumer Gift Giving

Atul Kulkarni, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Cele Otnes, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Julie Ruth, Rutgers University
Tiffany White, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Although businesses frequently use gifts for influencing consumers, research on the effects of gift giving in the business-to-consumer context is lacking. We apply congruence theory to examine the influence of perceived congruence between a gift and the promoted product on consumer responses. In a laboratory experiment we find (1) consumer evaluation of the offer is most favorable when perceived congruence of the gift/product combination is moderate, rather than low or high, and (2) consumers’ attitude toward the brand associated with the offer is more positive when perceived congruence is moderate or high, rather than low.
[ to cite ]:
Atul Kulkarni, Cele Otnes, Julie Ruth, and Tiffany White (2008) ,"The Role of Congruence Theory in Consumer Response to Business-To-Consumer Gift Giving", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 901-901.