One Without the Other: the Effects of Priming and Perceived Relationships Among Products on Consumer Choice

Jim Alvarez-Mourey, University of Michigan, USA
Relational priming has been shown to influence individuals in the domains of self-construal (i.e., individualism and collectivism), but, to date, the research has been limited to studying self-construal with respect to interpersonal relationships. The current paper extends the theory into the realm of inter-product/service relationships by examining the effect relational priming has on product selection given perceived relationships among products and services. A series of three studies employing priming methodology explore differences in consumption choices based on prime type, perceived product/service relationships, and implied relationships. The results suggest that priming does, in fact, influence consumer choice among related products, elicit reluctance for subjects to break apart items perceived as related, and produce said effects via realistic advertisements beyond traditional laboratory priming techniques. Limitations and future studies are discussed, as are potential managerial implications for the marketing practices of up-selling, cross-selling, and advertising/point-of-purchase displays as priming tools.
[ to cite ]:
Jim Alvarez-Mourey (2010) ,"One Without the Other: the Effects of Priming and Perceived Relationships Among Products on Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 744-746 .