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What do customers want? The impact of pricing tactic persuasion knowledge and frequency of exposure

Yen-Ting Chen (Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Li-Chi Lan (Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Wen-Chang Fang (Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 4 March 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021

514

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has shown that consumers prefer a bonus pack to a price discount for virtue foods, whereas they prefer a price discount to a bonus pack for vice foods. Acting as a guilt-mitigating mechanism, a price discount justifies consumers' purchasing behavior, allowing them to save money and consume less vice foods. However, for virtue foods, neither the anticipated post-consumption guilt nor the resulting need for justification lead consumers to prefer a bonus pack to a price discount. This study investigates whether product promotions remain effective with other moderating variables.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use pricing tactic persuasion knowledge (PTPK), which refers to the consumer persuasion knowledge of marketers' pricing tactics, as a lens to understand whether the power of these promotions could be enhanced or mitigated. The authors inferred that increasing the frequency of exposure to these foods could positively influence consumers' purchasing choices. They conducted three studies to examine these effects. In Study 1, using pearl milk tea (vice food) and sugar-free tea (virtue food), the authors contended that consumers would prefer a price discount when purchasing pearl milk tea, but a bonus pack when purchasing sugar-free tea. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors varied the participants' frequency of exposure to photographs of people in everyday situations with vice (virtue) foods.

Findings

In Study 1, PTPK was shown to be more predictive of consumer choices regarding price discounts and bonus packs. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors contended that increased exposure to vice (virtue) foods increases the selection of vice (virtue) foods by participants who were unaware of having been exposed to vice (virtue) foods.

Originality/value

This research has not only made quite managerial and policy implications for marketing but also brought the theoretical contributions for marketing researches. This research demonstrates that either for vice foods or virtue foods, a price discount is preferred to a bonus pack.

Keywords

Citation

Chen, Y.-T., Lan, L.-C. and Fang, W.-C. (2021), "What do customers want? The impact of pricing tactic persuasion knowledge and frequency of exposure", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 7, pp. 2321-2334. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-04-2020-0343

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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