Are Well-Known Brands Held to a Higher Standard of Performance: the Moderating Influence of Pre Vs. Post Purchase of the Product

M. Deniz Dalman, Binghamton University, USA
Kalpesh K. Desai, Binghamton University, USA
Manoj K. Agarwal, Binghamton University, USA
Well-Known brands (WKB) have several advantages over Less-Known brands (LKB) in terms of brand equity, market share etc. We use the literature in standards of judgment and stereotyping as theoretical underpinnings and investigate situations in which consumers experience uncertainty about performance relative to attribute claims made by brands. We posit and empirically show across two studies that in the pre-purchase stage, WKB have an advantage over LKB in terms of buying likelihood and attribute performance uncertainty because of their stronger brand equity. However, this advantage reverses once consumers use the products in the post-purchase stage. Specifically, WKB are held to a higher performance standard compared to LKB such that if performance exceeds the claims, LKB are more positively evaluated compared to WKB, while if brands perform poorly relative to their claims, WKB are more negatively evaluated compared to LKB.
[ to cite ]:
M. Deniz Dalman, Kalpesh K. Desai, and Manoj K. Agarwal (2009) ,"Are Well-Known Brands Held to a Higher Standard of Performance: the Moderating Influence of Pre Vs. Post Purchase of the Product", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 575-575.