Situational Influences on Cross Category Comparisons in the Context of Consumer-Oriented Product Development

ABSTRACT - The conventional method to define the competitive market is product-oriented and based on similarity of attributes. This suggests that competition is fixed across different situations and products only compete with products from the same nominal category (van Trijp, Steenkamp 1998). A consumer-oriented, situationally defined market is superior as it provides the opportunity to study the market across the conventional boundaries of competition, using consumers’ perceptions as guidance for marketing decisions. This increases the effectiveness, efficiency and creativity of the marketing strategy. We conducted two empirical studies. Our first study shows that products from different nominal categories can compete fiercely with each other. The set of appropriate and competitive products is not static but changes, depending on consumers’ goals in a specific situation. This should alert marketing managers that conventional methods do not give an accurate picture of the threats and opportunities facing a business. Study 2 shows the influence of the place, the time and the presence of other people on the appropriateness for consumption of 47 snacks and beverages. Chips, peanuts and cheese cubes are perceived as products that are appropriate to consume in the evening with other people. Apple, yoghurt and biscuits are perceived as products that are appropriate to consume in the morning at home. The competitive relationships in specific situations allow for the identification of the actual goals and choice criteria consumers have in mind when purchasing or consuming a product.



Citation:

Stan Knoops, Ivo A. van der Lans, and Jonathan Gutman (2001) ,"Situational Influences on Cross Category Comparisons in the Context of Consumer-Oriented Product Development", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Andrea Groeppel-Klien and Frank-Rudolf Esch, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 17.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2001      Page 17

SITUATIONAL INFLUENCES ON CROSS CATEGORY COMPARISONS IN THE CONTEXT OF CONSUMER-ORIENTED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Stan Knoops, Wageningen University/OP&P Product Research, The Netherlands

Ivo A. van der Lans, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Jonathan Gutman, University of New Hampshire, U.S.A.

[The authors thank Corine Kolb and Pieter Punter from OP&P Product research for valuable comments. This research project is financed by OP&P Product Research, the Netherlands (www.opp.nl).]

ABSTRACT -

The conventional method to define the competitive market is product-oriented and based on similarity of attributes. This suggests that competition is fixed across different situations and products only compete with products from the same nominal category (van Trijp, Steenkamp 1998). A consumer-oriented, situationally defined market is superior as it provides the opportunity to study the market across the conventional boundaries of competition, using consumers’ perceptions as guidance for marketing decisions. This increases the effectiveness, efficiency and creativity of the marketing strategy. We conducted two empirical studies. Our first study shows that products from different nominal categories can compete fiercely with each other. The set of appropriate and competitive products is not static but changes, depending on consumers’ goals in a specific situation. This should alert marketing managers that conventional methods do not give an accurate picture of the threats and opportunities facing a business. Study 2 shows the influence of the place, the time and the presence of other people on the appropriateness for consumption of 47 snacks and beverages. Chips, peanuts and cheese cubes are perceived as products that are appropriate to consume in the evening with other people. Apple, yoghurt and biscuits are perceived as products that are appropriate to consume in the morning at home. The competitive relationships in specific situations allow for the identification of the actual goals and choice criteria consumers have in mind when purchasing or consuming a product.

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Authors

Stan Knoops, Wageningen University/OP&amp P Product Research, The Netherlands
Ivo A. van der Lans, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Jonathan Gutman, University of New Hampshire, U.S.A.



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2001



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