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Experience perceptions, memorability and life satisfaction: a test and theory extension in the context of Oktoberfest

Robert J. Harrington (School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Richland, Washington, USA)
Michael C. Ottenbacher (Faculty of International Business, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, Heilbronn, Germany)
Laura Schmidt (Faculty of Tourism, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)
Jessica C. Murray (School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)
Burkhard von Freyberg (Faculty of Tourism, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 18 January 2021

Issue publication date: 15 March 2021

1557

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the Oktoberfest context and memory-dominant logic (MDL), the purpose of the study included assessing drivers of the perceptions of experience uniqueness; if these drivers and experience uniqueness perceptions transformed in memorable experiences; and if memorable experiences translated into enhanced life satisfaction. Based on these relationships, a typology and theory extension is provided integrating practical examples.

Design/methodology/approach

A five-factor model was tested using exploratory structural equation modeling and structural equation modeling; the factors included food and beverage quality; connectedness; experience uniqueness; meaningfulness and memorability; and life satisfaction.

Findings

Guests connectedness impacted life satisfaction perceptions. Positive perceptions of the experience uniqueness resulted in higher memorability. Food and beverage quality impacted both memorability and life satisfaction. Higher memorability resulted in higher life satisfaction. Attendee nationality impacted the relationship among several of the study’s factors.

Research limitations/implications

Progress was made on assessing the MDL concepts and translating them into quantitative values. Study results supported the impact of connectedness and product quality on perceptions of Oktoberfest experience uniqueness along with the impact of meaningfulness of the experience on life satisfaction perceptions. The authors acknowledged limitations because of one Oktoberfest beer tent focus and the weaknesses of survey methodology, limiting pre- and post-activity reporting and future investigation of moderating effects.

Practical implications

The consideration of higher order impacts (i.e. life satisfaction) is needed when delivering experiences and to entice loyalty and social media apostles. Consumers’ experience connectedness with high-quality perceptions and unique service design are likely to translate to memorable experiences, leading to life satisfaction perceptions. The concept of creating the experience “with” the customer appears to be a key aspect of memorability.

Originality/value

These results tested aspects of MDL and a typology emerged of ideal types as a modified MDL framework driven by two continua: transactional vs experiential quality and experiences designed “to” vs “with” customers.

Keywords

Citation

Harrington, R.J., Ottenbacher, M.C., Schmidt, L., Murray, J.C. and von Freyberg, B. (2021), "Experience perceptions, memorability and life satisfaction: a test and theory extension in the context of Oktoberfest", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 735-754. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-07-2020-0723

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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