The Influence of Product Variety on Brand Perception and Choice

41 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2006

See all articles by Jonah A. Berger

Jonah A. Berger

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Michaela Draganska

Drexel University

Itamar Simonson

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

We propose that the variety a brand offers can influence brand quality perceptions, and consequently, affect brand choice, even when the available option set is held constant. Specifically, brands that offer greater variety of compatible (i.e., focused and internally consistent) options are expected to be perceived as having greater commitment and expertise in the category, which, in turn, enhances their perceived quality and purchase likelihood. The results of six studies support this proposition and demonstrate that (a) brands offering increased compatible variety were perceived as having higher quality; (b) this effect was mediated by product variety's impact on perceived expertise-commitment; (c) the higher perceived quality led to a higher choice share of brands offering greater product variety, even amongst options identical options offered by multiple brands; and (d) product variety also impacted post-experience perceptions of taste.

Keywords: variety, quality perceptions, market strategy, consumer choice, quality cues, sensory experience

Suggested Citation

Berger, Jonah A. and Draganska, Michaela and Simonson, Itamar, The Influence of Product Variety on Brand Perception and Choice (May 2006). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 1938. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907115 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.907115

Jonah A. Berger (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Michaela Draganska

Drexel University ( email )

3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Itamar Simonson

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Center
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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