The latter method allows consumers to differentiate

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Unformatted text preview: 95 vi. Information environment This characteristic plays an important role particularly with regard to learning and memory as it deals with any product-related data that a consumers encounters. The extent of its influence will depend on four issues, namely information availability, format, form and information overload. Information availability refers to both external information and internal information that can be utilized by the consumer. When a child cannot remember what an item costs and cannot ask for assistance is an illustration of the lack of information availability. The format of information represents the manner, which information is organised and is able to affect the sequence of how decisions are made and the amount of time taken in doing so. The way chocolates are priced using stickers or bar codes is an example. The form, on the other hand, refers to how information is presented either semantically (“excellent”, “good”, “average” and so on) or numerically (88% for example). The latter method allows consumers to differentiate products a lot more easily [Engel et al., 1995:799]. Information overload may, however, cause problems for the potential purchaser. There is evidence to suggest that consumers cannot cope with too much information at product level. Thus the greater the relevance of the information to the consumer, the easier it is for consumers to digest and process that information as part of their decision-making. In other words, better and more extensive information may actually lead to poorer buying decisions [Keller & Staelin, 1987:213]. There is clearly a fine balance to be achieved between keeping imagery and messages clean, simple and easily understood, thus giving consumers enough information to allow them to appreciate the full depth of a product’s character and the range of its potential benefits so that they can develop appropriate expectations and post purchase evaluative criteria [Arens, 1999:131]. With regard to postmodern consumption research [Robertson & Kassarjian, 1991:566], three issues are of particular interest to this study and are exemplified by issues pertaining to sacred, profane and compulsive consumption. The difference between 96 sacred and profane is described as follows: “We take the sacred in the realm of consumption to refer to that which is regarded as more significant, powerful, and extraordinary than the self. The profane, by contrast, is ordinary and lacks the ability to induce ecstatic, self-transcending and extraordinary experiences.” [Belk et al., 1989:13] This definition is thus explicitly seen as being more than typical everyday needs of consumers. The sacred dimension reflects transcendence of ordinary mundane existence. Two domains in this regard have been identified, namely significant places and tangible items [Engel et al., 1995:270]. An example of the former would be the traditional café a child grew up shopping at. The latter could be almost anything from a...
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/04/2014 for the course SOCIAL SCI 23 taught by Professor Salman during the Winter '10 term at University of the Punjab.

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