Attention Arousal through Price Partitioning

Marketing Science, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2008

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 Last revised: 27 Mar 2012

See all articles by Marco Bertini

Marco Bertini

ESADE - Ramon Llull University

Luc Wathieu

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

Existing evidence suggests that preferences are affected by whether a price is presented as one all-inclusive expense or partitioned into a set of mandatory charges. To explain this phenomenon, we introduce a new mechanism whereby price partitioning affects a consumer’s perception of the secondary (i.e., non-focal) benefits derived from a transaction. Four experiments support the hypothesis that a partitioned price increases the amount of attention paid to secondary attributes tagged with distinct price components. Characteristics of the offered secondary attributes such as their perceived value, relative importance, and evaluability can therefore determine whether price partitioning stimulates or hinders demand. Beyond its descriptive and prescriptive implications, this theory contributes to the emerging notion that pricing can transform, as well as capture, the utility of an offer.

Keywords: Consumer behavior, pricing, price partitioning, attention, information processing, framing effects, multi-attribute utility

Suggested Citation

Bertini, Marco and Wathieu, Luc, Attention Arousal through Price Partitioning (April 1, 2008). Marketing Science, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1487861

Marco Bertini (Contact Author)

ESADE - Ramon Llull University ( email )

Avinguda de la Torre Blanca, 59
Sant Cugat del Vallès, 08172
Spain

Luc Wathieu

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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