What you see may not be what you get: Asking consumers what matters may not reflect what they choose

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Marketing Letters, 2010, 21 (4), pp. 335 - 350
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We compared a direct way to measure the relative importance of packaging and other extrinsic cues like brand name, origin, and price with the relative importance of these variables in an indirect discrete choice experiment. We used best-worst scaling (BWS) with visual and verbal presentation of the attribute descriptions as a way to directly ask consumers about wine packaging relevance. Both direct methods gave low packaging importance scores contrary to anecdotal industry evidence and beliefs. BWS results indicated all visual extrinsic cues were less important than verbal cues, with small variance among respondents, suggesting strong agreement about non-importance. We compared those results with a multi-media-based discrete choice experiment (DCE) that varied label and packaging attributes to produce shelf-like choice scenarios. The DCE results revealed much higher impacts due to packaging-related attributes, as well as significant preference heterogeneity. Our results suggest considerable caution in using direct importance measures with visual packaging attributes. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
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