The Effect of Product Arrangement and Price Differential on the Choice of Family - Branded Products



Citation:

Colin F. Neuhaus and James R. Taylor (1971) ,"The Effect of Product Arrangement and Price Differential on the Choice of Family - Branded Products", in SV - Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the Association for Consumer Research, eds. David M. Gardner, College Park, MD : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 297-298.

Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the Association for Consumer Research, 1971     Pages 297-298

THE EFFECT OF PRODUCT ARRANGEMENT AND PRICE DIFFERENTIAL ON THE CHOICE OF FAMILY - BRANDED PRODUCTS

Colin F. Neuhaus, Eastern Michigan University

James R. Taylor, University of Michigan

Marketing texts have suggested that under certain circumstances it is to the seller's advantage to family brand his merchandise. Due to the phenomenon of stimulus generalization or similar psychological theories, buyers will tend to transfer through the brand name, a favorable (or unfavorable) image for one product to other products bearing the family brand name. This family branding effect has been empirically verified by other researchers.

The purpose of this research was to investigate several variables which could influence this family branding effect. The study examined the difference in effect of grouping family branded products together on a supermarket shelf versus grouping together competing brands of a single product classification (Del Monte products exclusively versus Del Monte, A&P, and other brands of corn or peas). The former situation was called family brand arrangement; the latter, product class arrangement.

Also researched was the effect on the dependent variable of changes in price differentials between brands. Finally, concern was directed to the issue of whether the level of family branding effect might differ with the product category (soups, cakes, canned fruit) under consideration.

The following hypotheses were tested:

(1) The family branding effect will be stronger in the family brand arrangement condition than in the product class arrangement condition.

(2) The family branding effect will be stronger when the price differential between competing brands remains constant across products.

(3) The strength of the family branding effect will vary among product categories.

(4) The combined effects for all combinations of the arrangement, price, and product treatments will be additive.

The study utilized the experimental technique in which ninety housewives were asked to select four specified grocery products in each of six product categories in a simulated supermarket setting. Monetary inducements were used to create a normal atmosphere for purchase decisions.

A 3x2x6 split-plot factorial design was employed. Treatment A (arrangement) included the family brand and product class arrangements plus another condition identical to the product class arrangement but with signs or labels on the display identifying the product classification. Treatment B involved the two price conditions. Subjects were exposed to one of the six (3x2) treatment combinations which were replicated over the six product categories yielding the split-plot design.

The data from the experiment supported all of the above hypotheses. In addition, the product class with labels arrangement was stated to facilitate the purchase decision process and both product class arrangements stimulated a slightly greater amount of brand comparison. A difference was noted in the degree of brand comparison for the various product categories which coincide with the amount of brand switching noted for these products. A reduction was observed in total purchase expenditures as a result of the price changes instituted during the experiment. Product arrangement had no effect on these expenditures.

The following conclusions were reached:

(1) The family brand arrangement encourages family brand loyalty; the product class arrangements stimulate comparison of alternative brands which results in greater brand switching.

(2) Constant price differentials between competing brands yield greater family brand loyalty than do varying differentials; however, for the changes instituted in this experiment, the interruption of the family branding effect by changes in price differentials produced lower total purchase expenditures.

(3) The strength of the family branding effect, as well as the degree of brand comparison, varied among product categories. A high degree of brand comparison was accompanied by a high rate of brand switching (low family branding scores).

(4) The combined effects for all combinations of treatments was additive.

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Authors

Colin F. Neuhaus, Eastern Michigan University
James R. Taylor, University of Michigan



Volume

SV - Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the Association for Consumer Research | 1971



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