The role of brand name in customization decisions: a search vs experience perspective

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Investigates the role of brand name in consumers' decision making during a customization process, and develops a conceptual understanding of the factors influencing the role of brand name from a “search vs experience” perspective. Addresses the strategic relationship of brand with perceived product/service/information preference match and the impact of preference match on consumer “willingness to pay for customization”. Brand name was found to be an important decision variable for customization in terms of getting a better preference match. Brand name still holds an important role on consumer communications, as was expected. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that customization would not “commoditize” brands, but rather increase the effect of brand names in purchase decision making. High‐knowledge consumers reported stronger brand name effect in terms of its importance and usefulness in their decision making. The brand name effect varies across product categories, and the effect is stronger in the customization of search products than that in experience products. Thus, brand names have greater impact on choices in a search product where less total quality information on components is available for facilitating consumer choices. Discusses managerial implications of the study's findings.




This article is the authors' final published version in Journal of Product & Brand Management, Volume 13, Issue 2, March 2004, Pages 73-83.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/10610420410529708. Copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited