Effects of Search, Experience, and Credence Attributes versus Suggestive Brand names on Product Evaluations

Gunasti, K., Kara, S. and Ross, Jr, W.T. (2020), "Effects of search, experience and credence attributes versus suggestive brand names on product evaluations", European Journal of Marketing (forthcoming) https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-12-2017-0972

42 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020

See all articles by Kunter Gunasti

Kunter Gunasti

Washington State University

Selcan Kara

University of Connecticut

William T. Ross

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: August 31, 2020

Abstract

Purpose– This research examines how credence, search, and experience attributes compete with suggestive brand names that are in-congruent with the attributes they cue (e.g., expensive EconoLodge Motel, short-lasting Duracell battery, joint-stiffening JointFlex pill).

Design/methodology/approach– This research relies on experimental studies, together with analyses of variance, t-tests, and logistic regressions.

Findings– In-congruent suggestive brand names can distort product evaluations and alter perceptions of product performance in joint product judgments involving contradictory credence attributes; they can misdirect product evaluations even if the search attributes conflict with competitor brands. Furthermore, they are more likely to backfire if contradictory experience attributes are readily available to consumers

Research implications– This test of the role of in-congruence between suggestive brand names and actual product features includes key concepts that can inform continued studies, such as search attributes that consumers can readily observe, experience attributes that can be observed only after product use, and credence attributes that might not be observed even after use.

Practical implications– This article provides applicable guidelines for managers, consumers, and policy makers.

Originality/value– The findings expand beyond prior literature that focuses on memory-based, separate evaluations of advertised benefits and inferences or expectations of unavailable attributes. Specifically, this study details the implications of congruence between the suggestive brand names and different types of attributes observable at different consumption stages.

Keywords: suggestive brand names, search, credence, experience attributes, placebo effects

Suggested Citation

Gunasti, Kunter and Kara, Selcan and Ross, William T., Effects of Search, Experience, and Credence Attributes versus Suggestive Brand names on Product Evaluations (August 31, 2020). Gunasti, K., Kara, S. and Ross, Jr, W.T. (2020), "Effects of search, experience and credence attributes versus suggestive brand names on product evaluations", European Journal of Marketing (forthcoming) https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-12-2017-0972, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3684107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3684107

Kunter Gunasti (Contact Author)

Washington State University ( email )

386 Todd Addition
Carson School of Business
Pullman, WA Whitman 99164
United States
5093354833 (Phone)

Selcan Kara

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

William T. Ross

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

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