In general, consumers establish a preference for one product early in a decision process. When this preference does not include consideration of product prices, the currently preferred product is called the "benefits leader." This article proposes that consumers who switch to a cheaper product after learning prices retain a trace of preference for the benefits leader. Retention of the benefits leader is evidenced by the distortion of new information to favor the benefits leader and by greater-than-normative reversion to it. The authors also find that reversion does not occur when the initially leading product (that consumers switch from) is based on a cost savings. This suggests that though consumers retain cognitive elements associated with benefits leaders, they do not retain similar elements associated with leaders based on cost savings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics