Does the Type of Attribute Matter? Examining Whether Underlying Factors Explain Product Attribute Preference

17 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018

See all articles by Dean Wilkie

Dean Wilkie

University of Adelaide

Lester W. Johnson

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Wynne Chin

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Most research into product attribute preferences suggests that innovation through enhanced attributes is superior to innovation through unique attributes, yet the marketplace success of new products with unique attributes challenges these assessments. To determine whether the type of attribute matters, this study examines how two underlying factors explain product attribute preference. First, a schema congruity theoretical framework proposes that perceived differences and confidence both mediate attribute type effects. Second, the authors test whether product attribute preferences result from the specific forms of enhanced or unique attributes. Consumer evaluations of 13 line extensions demonstrate that perceived differences and confidence strongly mediate the effects of the type of attribute on product preferences. The effects of the specific attribute form on preferences are comparable to those of enhanced and unique attributes. This effect similarly is mediated by perceived difference and confidence. This study thus provides several contributions for schema congruity theory, including a demonstration of two inverted U-shaped relationships involving perceived difference. For managers, uncovering the influence of consumers’ perceptions of differences and confidence can help them market new products that feature either type or various forms of attributes.

Keywords: Product attributes, Partial least squares, Unique attribute, Enhanced attribute

Suggested Citation

Wilkie, Dean and Johnson, Lester W. and Chin, Wynne, Does the Type of Attribute Matter? Examining Whether Underlying Factors Explain Product Attribute Preference (November 2017). Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 25, Issue 4, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3219029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41262-017-0082-0

Dean Wilkie (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide ( email )

No 233 North Terrace, School of Commerce
Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

Lester W. Johnson

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

Wynne Chin

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

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