of consumers by conducing laddering interviews and creating a HVM to explore the hierarchical relationship of the three characteristics. Consumers view every product as a collective of certain attributes (Kotler and Armstrong, 1999) and thus are the cornerstone of the laddering process. When discussing the ice cream market and in particular the Ben and Jerry’s brand, there are a variety of attributes with a main focus on taste and price. At the centre of the hierarchical framework, consequences connect the attributes of the product to the values and are the results of consumption. The emphasis in this area revolves around self-reward and indulgence with increasing concern for healthier options in contemporary society. Values are the desired end state and relate to the satisfaction of one’s individual needs. Self-satisfaction is the key takeaway in relation to
Hari Rao z5162795 MARK3092 ice cream and is represented in the HVM created below. Thus, the pathway from taste to self-reward and finally to self-satisfaction is the main pathway of analysis in the ice cream market. Pathway Analysis of Ben and Jerry’s The motivation behind every purchase lies in the meaningful association and relationship the consumer develops with a particular product or brand rather than just focusing on attributes (Reynolds and Gutman 1984). Attributes such as taste, price and having a variety of flavours are apparent through all ice cream brands and only scratch the surface of the decision-making process for consumers. Therefore, we must focus on why the consumer is prefers particular attributes through the laddering technique in which respondents are asked “why this attribute is important to them”. Consequences are the benefits derived by consuming the ice cream and essentially answers the question posed about, “why these particular attributes are important”. A particular consequence is important if it allows the consumer to achieve a specific end state and therefore is the connection between attribute and value. For example, there is a common perception that brands such as Ben and Jerry’s are of a higher quality because their country of origin is foreign and therefore must have a richer taste compared to Australian brands such as Peters. Essentially, the laddering techniques allows marketers to dig deeper and find consumer preference and why it is significant.
Hari Rao z5162795 MARK3092 Values guides consumer behaviour towards end goals and form the top tier of the HVM (Rokeach, 1973). Through the chosen pathway for Ben and Jerry’s, the consumers perception regarding the brand origin is a representation of how they view the quality of ice cream and thus assists them in being socially accepted to a community, achieving a sense of belonging in the process. Therefore, this pathway of meaning is most prominent for Ben and Jerry’s and provides a point of difference against competitors. While the fundamental analysis of taste and indulgence lies among most ice cream brands, Ben and Jerry’s emphasise a sense of belonging and community. Through the process of laddering, Ben and Jerry’s was able to engage with customers and recognise what consumers are demanding and what their preferences are. The creation of non-dairy and vegan options is a direct result of forming a
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- Fall '19
- Marketing, Brand, Hari Rao