PurposeThis study aims to investigate age and gender differences in young consumers’ attribute preferences that underlie their choice decisions. This research proposes and finds that attribute preferences are moderated by age but not gender. Understanding how children at different ages evaluate a product’s attributes is essential to new children’s product development.Design/methodology/approachHierarchical Bayesian choice-based conjoint analysis was used to assess attribute importance via a series of choice tasks among children and adults. Adults completed the study by survey, whereas children were interviewed and led through the choice tasks.FindingsThis research finds that the preference structure for a product’s attributes differs systematically based on the age of children. Younger children chose based on perceptually salient attributes of a product, whereas older children chose based on cognitively salient attributes. When children’s attribute preferences are compared to adults, older children value attributes more similarly to adults than younger children. While gender differences were proposed and found, further analysis indicated that these differences were driven by adults in the sample and that no gender differences existed in the children’s age categories.Originality/valueThis study is the first to study children’s preference structure in complex choices with different ages preferring different attributes. By using conjoint analysis, this research is able to understand children’s underlying decision process, as utility scores are obtained providing a level of precision for understanding the underlying process of children’s choices that other studies have not used.
Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 15, 2019
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