Spatial Positioning: the Value of Center-Stage

Ana Valenzuela, Baruch College
Priya Raghubir, University of California B Berkeley
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Does placing a product in a central, peripheral, or extreme-end position systematically affect consumers’ attitudes toward the brand? Surprisingly, this issue has not been investigated by consumer psychologists despite the importance of shelf placement in a consumers’ brand choice decision, a manufacturer’s distribution decision, and a retailer’s shelf space pricing decision. Other than isolated studies in psychology with inconsistent position effects (e.g., Taylor and Fiske 1975, Study 1 versus Study 2), the effect of visual placement on attitudes and preferences does not appear to have been systematically researched by psychologists. While psychological Apositioning@ is a well-known concept to marketers, oddly, the literal, spatial analogy on which it is based, is under-researched (except for Hotelling type models of store location with a distance cost to consumers, see Eppli and Benjamin 1994 for a review). This paper introduces the important and novel concept of Aspatial positioning,@ in a literal sense, with psychological overtones to marketing.
[ to cite ]:
Ana Valenzuela and Priya Raghubir (2005) ,"Spatial Positioning: the Value of Center-Stage", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 528-529.