Consumer Knowledge As a Moderator of Specificity-Based Product Selection

Jason Stornelli, University of Michigan, USA
Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China/University of Michigan, USA
Andrew Gershoff, University of Michigan, USA
One way marketers differentiate functionally equivalent or similar offerings is by varying product claim specificity. For example, drug manufacturers may offer one product indicated for migraines and another for general analgesia that contain identical active ingredients. Previous research suggests this strategy often works – consumers prefer functionally specialized products over general or “all-in-one” alternatives. Yet, this may not always be the case. We argue that preference for specialized alternatives may depend on the consumer’s subjective knowledge within the category and present a study demonstrating that a significant number of higher-knowledge consumers prefer options that make multiple product claims.
[ to cite ]:
Jason Stornelli, Anirban Mukhopadhyay, and Andrew Gershoff (2010) ,"Consumer Knowledge As a Moderator of Specificity-Based Product Selection", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 909-910 .