Delivering quality products requires an understanding of the critical dimensions and cues that consumers use to judge quality. To that end, this article addresses two fundamental research issues. Using a qualitative study, the authors first develop a generalizable typology of quality dimensions for durable goods that includes ease of use, versatility, durability, serviceability, performance, and prestige. Second, the authors conduct a process-tracing laboratory experiment to examine how key marketing variables—price, brand name, and product attributes—affect consumers’ judgment processes and inferences about how products perform on the six quality dimensions. Results of the experiment indicate that consumers use price and brand name differently to judge the quality dimensions, searching for price and brand name much more frequently when evaluating prestige than when evaluating any other quality dimension. Results suggest that managers must determine the relevant quality dimensions for a product category and the cues that are salient for judging those dimensions.
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2008
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