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Brand leaders and me‐too alternatives: how do consumers choose?

Vanessa Quintal (Curtin University, Perth, Australia)
Ian Phau (Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 14 June 2013




The purpose of this paper is to examine brand familiarity, extrinsic attributes, self‐confidence, perceived quality and six dimensions of perceived risk for their effects on purchase intentions between the prototypical and me‐too brands of MP3 players.


A self‐administered survey was employed to collect data from 348 lead users of MP3 players. Existing scales were selected for their tested reliability in buying situations and adapted to suit the context of the current study. Hypothesized relationships were examined with structural equation modeling.


Brand familiarity had positive effects and extrinsic attributes had negative effects on the perceived equivalent quality of the MP3 players for both the prototypical and me‐too brands. Further, brand familiarity and extrinsic attributes produced direct effects on purchase intentions for the me‐too and prototypical brands respectively. While perceived equivalent quality had a positive mediating effect on the brand familiarity‐purchase intentions relationship for the me‐too brands, it had a negative mediating effect on the extrinsic attributes‐purchase intentions relationship for the prototypical brand. Finally, perceived social/physical, financial/performance, time and psychological risks produced negative mediating effects on the perceived equivalent quality‐purchase intentions relationship for the prototypical brand, while social/physical risk produced a positive mediating effect for the me‐too brands.


Previous empirical research has focused primarily on the individual effects of these antecedents. A research model integrates these antecedents with the dimensions of perceived risk and tests their hypothesized effects on purchase intentions. Comparisons between the prototypical and me‐too brands of MP3 players provide insights for practitioners when managing their brands.



Quintal, V. and Phau, I. (2013), "Brand leaders and me‐too alternatives: how do consumers choose?", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 367-387.



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