A Multiattribute Benefits-Based Choice Model with Multiple Mediators: New Insights for Positioning
- SAGE Publications
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Journal of Marketing Research, 2020, 57, (1), pp. 35-54
- Issue Date:
Previous research has demonstrated that consumers evaluate products according to their perceived benefits when making a choice. This article extends prior work by proposing a method that evaluates the degree to which multiple a priori defined benefits mediate product choices. The model is the first to consider process heterogeneity—that is, heterogeneity in how consumers perceive multiple attributes to positively or negatively affect multiple benefits simultaneously and the contribution of each benefit to product utility. The authors propose discrete choice experiments to holistically measure the link between attributes and benefits, as well as between attributes and choice, resulting in data that can be analyzed with a generalized probit model. The approach contributes to mediation research by offering an alternative method of handling multiple multinomial mediators and dichotomous outcome variables. An empirical illustration of bread choices shows how consumer judgments about health and value perceptions of products mediate purchase decisions. The authors demonstrate how the method can help managers (1) confirm and test existing knowledge about latent benefits, including whether they explain all the variation in choice, and (2) consider process heterogeneity to inform market segmentation strategies.