The Effects of Advertised Quality Emphasis and Objective Quality on Sales

13 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017 Last revised: 30 Mar 2017

See all articles by Praveen K. Kopalle

Praveen K. Kopalle

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business

Robert Fisher

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Bharat Sud

University of Waterloo

Kersi Antia

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business

Date Written: March 7, 2017

Abstract

Given that consumers value quality, and such advertising content informs consumers’ beliefs about quality, it is not surprising that high quality brands emphasize quality in their advertising content. What is less obvious is whether firms with lower quality brands should also follow suit and emphasize quality in their advertising to signal a higher quality. We examine this issue and study the effectiveness of quality-based advertising messages. Our field study relates brands’ monthly sales to their advertised quality claims across 1,876 print ads in national magazines and Consumer Reports-based product quality ratings over more than two decades. Contrary to the generally held yet erroneous belief in the efficacy of low-quality products emphasizing quality in their advertising, we demonstrate that (a) it is not beneficial for a low quality firm to emphasize quality in its advertising, and (b) it is effective for a high quality firm to do so. An analysis of parameter values from a published category-agnostic simulation, and an experiment that examines consumers’ responses to quality claims in a second product category yields convergent insights.

Keywords: Advertising; Quality; Marketing Strategy

JEL Classification: M31; M37; C15; C91; C12

Suggested Citation

Kopalle, Praveen K. and Fisher, Robert and Sud, Bharat and Antia, Kersi, The Effects of Advertised Quality Emphasis and Objective Quality on Sales (March 7, 2017). Journal of Marketing, Vol. 81(2), p. 114-26, 2017; Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2929012; University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2929012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929012

Praveen K. Kopalle (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

100 Tuck Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-3612 (Phone)
603-646-1308 (Fax)

Robert Fisher

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Bharat Sud

University of Waterloo ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada
519-888-4567 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://uwaterloo.ca/economics/about/people/bsud

Kersi Antia

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

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