Narrow Focusing: Why the Relative Position of a Good in its Category Matters More than it Should

Marketing Science, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 194-205, 2005

12 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2007 Last revised: 19 May 2008

France Leclerc

University of Chicago - Marketing Management

Christopher K. Hsee

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Joseph Nunes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Abstract

This research examines whether a low-ranking member in a high-status category (e.g., a low-end model of a high-end brand) or a high-ranking member in a low-status category (e.g., a high-end model of a low-end brand) is favored, holding the objective qualities of the items constant. Brand equity research suggests that the quality of a brand is more important than the ranking of a product within a brand. Our research documents a robust ranking effect - whereby a high-ranking product in a low-status category is favored over a low-ranking product in a high-status category even when information on competing categories is made available. We explain this effect in terms of narrow focusing and evaluability, and we identify boundary conditions of the effect.

Keywords: brand choice, brand product management, ranking effect, narrow focusing, evaluability

Suggested Citation

Leclerc, France and Hsee, Christopher K. and Nunes, Joseph, Narrow Focusing: Why the Relative Position of a Good in its Category Matters More than it Should. Marketing Science, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 194-205, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=992058

France Leclerc (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Marketing Management ( email )

Walker 407A
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-1928 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Christopher K. Hsee

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Joseph Nunes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
61
Rank
293,291
Abstract Views
725