Marketing Papers

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

2007

Publication Source

Marketing Science

Volume

26

Issue

4

Start Page

460

Last Page

472

DOI

10.1287/mksc.1060.0253

Abstract

We propose that the variety a brand offers often serves as a quality cue and thus influences which brand consumers choose. Specifically, brands that offer a greater variety of options that appear compatible and require similar skills tend to be perceived as having greater category expertise or core competency in the category, which, in turn, enhances their perceived quality and purchase likelihood. Six studies support this proposition and demonstrate that compared to brands which offer fewer products, (a) brands which offer increased compatible variety are perceived as having higher quality; (b) this effect is mediated by product variety’s impact on perceived expertise; (c) the higher perceived quality produces a greater choice share of the higher variety brand, even among consumers who select options that multiple brands offer and (d) product variety also impacts post-experience perceptions of taste. The findings suggest that in addition to directly affecting brand choice share through influencing the fit with consumer preferences, product line length can also indirectly affect brand choice through influencing perceived brand quality.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published in Marketing Science © 2007 INFORMS

This is a pre-publication version. The final version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1060.0253.

Keywords

variety, consumer choice, quality cues, product line length

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Date Posted: 15 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.