Judging the performance of choice alternatives using

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Unformatted text preview: umerous ways for consumers to make choices, which include attribute-based choices, attitude-based choices and affective choices. Attribute-based choices are implemented when a consumer makes use of precise product attributes to make comparisons between different brands. For example, a child may compare the price of each brand of potato chips for sale at a convenience store before making a purchase. However, if the same child were to make a comparison using his / her personal opinion, then it would be regarded as an attitude-based choice [Hawkins et al., 2001:562; Kotler, 200:180; and Aaker, 1997:135]. Affective choices deal with purchases where the consumer evaluates a product with the focus on the feeling and experience derived from the action. [Hawkins et al. 2001:564]. A mother, for instance, might buy her son some sweets to help cheer him up when he is sad. Judging the performance of choice alternatives using salient evaluating criteria plays a crucial role in the alternative evaluation process. Consumers are sometimes not capable 89 in making truthful and precise judgments. This may at times lead to children making inappropriate purchases, which has lead to organisations that are in favour of protecting younger consumers from businesses that try to take advantage of the youth [Hawkins et al., 2001:217; Voight, 2000:46; Smith & Cooper-Martin, 1997:5; and Macchiette & Abhijit, 1994:55]. An example would be a law prohibiting children from buying cigarettes. Consumers often use surrogate indicators or signals such as the price of well known brands when they ascertain a product’s attributes or performance level [Hawkins et al., 2001:574; Chang & Wildt, 1996:58; and Boulding & Kirmani, 1993:111]. The consumer’s experience with a product will often determine the signals that they make use of [Burgess, 1998:61]. For example, it is rather difficult to determine the safety of a convenience store’s location. The consumer might therefore look at the lighting in the area to help ascertain some sort of safety level. The surrogate categories most relevant to this research study are brand name, country of origin and price. A brand name’s potential to influence a person’s product evaluations has been well investigated [Peters, 1999:12; Webb Pressler, 1997:1; and Aaker, 1995:29]. The brand name appears to serve as an indicator of product quality in many cases. Deciding which pair of denims is of a better quality, for instance, the consumer will check to see if they are ‘Levi’s’, ‘Jexchange’ or ‘Mr. Price’ denims. This example also demonstrates the fact that a status symbol is considered to be part of quality, which in turn will motivate some consumers in making a particular choice [Dodds et al., 1991:307]. The importance consumers place on a brand name depends on their ability to judge quality. Consider determining the quality and effectiveness of using a painkiller as an example. Are private brands, such as ‘Panado’, equivalent to a generic brand of painkillers sold at ‘Disch...
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