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Investigating the Single Category Belief Problem in a Hybrid Product

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Title: Investigating the Single Category Belief Problem in a Hybrid Product
Author: Aziz, Salma
Department: Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Program: Marketing and Consumer Studies
Advisor: Islam, Towhidul
Abstract: Existing research suggests that when consumers encounter hybrid products or boundary-spanning products with attributes belonging to multiple categories, consumers tend to generate inferences based on only a single product category. Reliance on a single category for inferencing is termed as the “single category belief problem” which has been regarded as a vital marketing challenge because it leads consumers to underestimate the true utility of a hybrid product as certain product attributes are ignored. Our objective was to explore whether single category beliefs manifest in consumer choice for a hybrid product when strategically placed within varying contexts. The research used discrete choice experiment (DCE) to test hypotheses. Our research confirms that the single category belief is evident in consumer choice. We also found that the context the hybrid product is placed within has a major influence on what consumers preferred the most. Depending on the context a hybrid product was seen in had significant influence on how consumers evaluated product attributes and made purchase decisions. The findings for this research may be very beneficial for marketers.
Date: 2011-08
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