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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Cheng‐Chieh Hsiao, Hsiu Ju Rebecca Yen and Eldon Y. Li

With advances in information technology, multi‐channel shopping (MCS) has become a prevailing purchasing pattern today. Although MCS provides more benefits than…

Abstract

Purpose

With advances in information technology, multi‐channel shopping (MCS) has become a prevailing purchasing pattern today. Although MCS provides more benefits than single‐channel shopping, there is a need to investigate consumer values in the MCS context. This study aims to develop a consumer value hierarchy that represents how consumers think and pursue when performing MCS.

Design/methodology/approach

The research framework was developed from a perspective of means‐end theory. Two studies were designed to elicit and evaluate a consumer value hierarchy of MCS. First, a qualitative study was conducted to explore means‐end elements of MCS. Then, a hierarchical value map of MCS was constructed with 314 usable responses from an empirical survey in Taiwan. The impacts of past shopping experience on consumers' value perceptions were also examined.

Findings

In the hierarchical value map (HVM) of MCS, the results indicate 18 means‐end chains from ten MCS attributes resulting in nine consequences derived from those attributes, and then to four MCS values. The results also show that both expert and novice shoppers emphasize the utilitarian value of MCS; however, shopping novices pay more attention to the hedonic value of MCS than experts do.

Practical implications

This paper provides several managerial implications for multi‐channel retailers. Multi‐channel retailers need to know more about the attributes and functions of each channel that they offer in order to create a superior shopping experience for their customers. Also, retailers need to understand different MCS patterns for successful multi‐channel customer relationship management. Finally, the consumer value hierarchy of MCS is a useful tool for retailers to develop effective promotion strategies to increase customers' engagement in MCS.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to apply means‐end theory to investigate consumer value in the MCS context. It advances the consumer value literature in explaining a novel type of consumer channel‐mixing behavior. The paper concludes with implications for multi‐channel retailers, and future directions for MCS research are also discussed.

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Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-727-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Günther Botschen, Eva M. Thelen and Rik Pieters

Although the basic idea of benefit segmentation lies in using causal, as opposed to descriptive, factors as segmentation criteria, most of the empirical studies do not…

Abstract

Although the basic idea of benefit segmentation lies in using causal, as opposed to descriptive, factors as segmentation criteria, most of the empirical studies do not differentiate between product attributes and the benefit sought by consumers. The objectives of this article are to clarify the distinction between attributes and benefits sought, and to apply a modified laddering technique, based on means‐end theory to use the elicited benefits to form benefit segments. A comparison with attribute‐based segments demonstrates that means‐end chains provide a powerful tool for “true” benefit segmentation.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Stephanie Kirchhoff, Heather Smyth, Jessica Sanderson, Yasmina Sultanbawa and Katrina Gething

The purpose of this study is to illustrate how means‐end chain theory can inform communications that effectively convey the health messages of vegetable consumption to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to illustrate how means‐end chain theory can inform communications that effectively convey the health messages of vegetable consumption to various publics.

Design/methodology/approach

Laddering interviews were conducted with 61 participants who consumed at least two serves of vegetables a day and were responsible in part or whole for shopping in their household. A means‐end chain value map was then constructed using mecanalyst software.

Findings

Using means‐end theory, an example communications strategy was developed from the dominant chain. The health and wellness features that respondents associated with vegetables were “freshness”, a “source of vitamins and minerals”, and “high nutritional value”. In the mind of the consumer, these features were linked to the benefit concept “maintain energy and vitality”, which in turn was connected to the consequence “maintain an active life”. The end‐states or goals participants ultimately connected to the health and wellness features of vegetables were that of “enjoy life” and “achieve goals”.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited in so far as subjects who consume less than two serves of vegetables are not recruited for this study.

Practical implications

It is suggested that social marketing initiatives designed to increase vegetable consumption may base messages on health‐related values or end‐states of being to resonate more effectively with consumers.

Social implications

High vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease. Effective strategies designed to increase vegetable consumption amongst populations may reduce the burden on health systems.

Originality/value

This study illustrates how consumers' cognitive processes can inform social marketing communications.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Federica Judica and W. Steven Perkins

Introduces a new approach to the investigation of consumers' reasons for purchasing (or not purchasing) products. The Means‐End Chains model, by shifting attention from…

Abstract

Introduces a new approach to the investigation of consumers' reasons for purchasing (or not purchasing) products. The Means‐End Chains model, by shifting attention from product attributes to consumers' personal values, is particularly applicable to segmentation and positioning strategies for high involvement products like sparkling wines. Reports structured depth interviews with 27 consumers uncovering their means‐end chains in relation to sparkling wines. Responses differ noticeably by usage: heavier users prefer dry products as more sophisticated are willing to pay a premium price, and have more complex psychological needs to be fulfilled with the product including more socially oriented reasons for usage. Suggests insights from the means‐end approach may allow producers of premium sparkling wines to maintain a healthy position even in a decreasing market.

Details

International Journal of Wine Marketing, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-7541

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Xiao-Yu Xu, Syed Muhammad Usman Tayyab, Fang-Kai Chang and Kai Zhao

This study elicits the critical attributes, consequences and values associated with the purchasing process in the context of cross-border e-commerce (CBEC). The purpose is…

Abstract

Purpose

This study elicits the critical attributes, consequences and values associated with the purchasing process in the context of cross-border e-commerce (CBEC). The purpose is to provide a better understanding of the fundamental factors that determine consumer values in CBEC.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies the means-end-chain theory and soft-laddering techniques to interview 60 CBEC consumers to construct an implication matrix and a hierarchical value map (HVM) of the consumer purchasing process, consisting of attribute-consequence-value (A-C-V) paths.

Findings

By analyzing the significant linkages, elements, ladders and chains in the HVM, four dominant A-C-V paths were identified: economic-driven, efficiency-driven, progress-driven and quality-driven paths.

Research limitations/implications

This study included only Chinese CBEC buyers. This limitation might affect the generalizability of the conclusions as culture, purchase habits and economic development differ between China and other countries.

Practical implications

The results of this study provide CBEC practitioners an understanding of the consumer purchasing process and how consumer values are associated with platform characteristics. Thus, the results aid practitioners in allocating resources and developing CBEC platforms in an appropriate manner and direction.

Originality/value

This study sheds lights on the emerging phenomenon of CBEC. By applying the means-end-chain approach, the study provides a comprehensive HVM for interpreting the consumer online purchasing process in this novel context. By illustrating the dominant paths, this research provides deeper theoretical insights into the specific focuses of CBEC consumer purchasing.

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Jooyeon Ha and SooCheong (Shawn) Jang

The purpose of this study is to identify consumer‐dining values for each restaurant segment (fast food restaurants, casual restaurants, and fine dining restaurants) using…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify consumer‐dining values for each restaurant segment (fast food restaurants, casual restaurants, and fine dining restaurants) using a means‐end approach and to suggest useful information for restaurant operators to develop differential marketing strategies for each segment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applied a means‐end chain approach to identify underlying consumer values across three different restaurant segments. The participants responded to questions in a one‐on‐one interview procedure regarding attributes of restaurants, consequences, and values. Based on the responses, hierarchical value maps were developed to better understand consumer value patterns across the three restaurant segments.

Findings

The results suggested that attributes of fast food restaurants were largely associated with convenience, success, and economic values; attributes of casual dining restaurants were related to emotional and belonging values; and attributes provided by fine dining restaurants were linked to emotion and quality life values.

Practical implications

This research suggested what customers really want from the dining experience so that restaurant operators in each restaurant segment can develop effective marketing strategies, such as advertisements or promotions, which are distinguished from other competitive restaurants.

Originality/value

By using a means‐end chain approach, this study showed a holistic picture of the consumer dining values customers desire when they visit each restaurant segment, which is a unique contribution of this study.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Vai Shiem Leong, Sally Hibbert and Christine Ennew

This study aims to examine the effects of enhanced visualization of intangible service value through integration of means-end perspectives on advertising effectiveness.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effects of enhanced visualization of intangible service value through integration of means-end perspectives on advertising effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Banking advertisements, incorporating message stimuli derived from salient values desired by the financial consumers and designed to assist message elaboration and stimulate personal relevance, were developed to examine the influence of cognitive connectivity on vividness of intangible service benefits and service advertising effectiveness.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that greater cognitive connectivity positively affects perceived tangibility, attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the brand. Additionally, the results indicated that perceived personal relevance has higher influence on envisioning service components, compared to one’s ability to connect visual cues to perceived benefits and to immediate end-goals.

Research limitations/implications

This study incorporated visual stimuli limited only to financial security and social recognition. Future research should aim to examine the effects of different types of values on consumers’ elaboration process and their ability to visualize financial services.

Originality/value

This study extends knowledge of the means-end chain by proposing a means-end cognitive connectivity construct which influences the degree that consumers are able to mentally picture intangible service attributes. This study also provides insight that different values have different degree of influence on one’s ability to visualize service.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Chin Feng Lin and Chen Su Fu

The purpose of this paper is, based on leisure constraints and means-end theories, to identify the e-leisure constraints of using the video-sharing websites/apps;…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is, based on leisure constraints and means-end theories, to identify the e-leisure constraints of using the video-sharing websites/apps; demonstrate how means-end theory can be used to reveal the differences between high- and low-leisure constraints in an e-leisure environment; and provide designers and marketers with valuable insights for developing e-leisure products and e-marketing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are employed to collect data. By eliminating three participants whose age range did not meet our criterion (15 to 24 years old), 57 one-on-one in-depth interviews were then content analyzed to design the survey questionnaire. A total of 514 valid samples were collected for hierarchical value map (HVM) construction.

Findings

By comparing the full HVM vs the e-leisure constraints HVM, the analytical results indicate that the importance of attributes, consequences and values for the young people using video-sharing websites/apps is quite different. “Unable to resume the video after leaving the screen,” “creating playlist,” “providing movies” and “location restrictions” are extremely important features that influence the willingness of such users with high e-leisure constraints to participate in e-leisure activities. By understanding the differences between these two HVMs, it is possible to provide marketers or designers with valuable insights for website/app design and marketing strategies.

Research limitations/implications

This study only focused on young people’s perceptions of video-sharing websites/apps, so the findings are limited to those aged between 15 and 24 years old. Since managers today are challenged to design effective strategies that can meet target users’ demands across different ages with different economic, social and sub-cultural groups, future research may consider gathering a wider age range of respondents in order to obtain more robust results.

Originality/value

This is the first paper integrating leisure constraints theory and means-end theory to understand young people’s cognitive structure of using video-sharing websites/apps, especially when they encounter e-leisure constraints.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2016

Arch G. Woodside

Means-end chain (MEC) theory proposes that knowledge held in individuals’ memory is organized in a hierarchy with concrete thoughts linked to more abstract thoughts in a…

Abstract

Synopsis

Means-end chain (MEC) theory proposes that knowledge held in individuals’ memory is organized in a hierarchy with concrete thoughts linked to more abstract thoughts in a sequence progressing from means (i.e., brands and product features) to psychological and social consequences and finally to ends (i.e., fulfillment of personal values). This chapter proposes several advances in the theory. First, specific buying and consumption situations serve as frames of reference when consumers are thinking about products and alternative features of products and brands. Second, states of psychological imbalance may occur in consumers’ minds among linkages retrieved automatically for features/ consequences and consequences/values; thus, Heider's balance theory incorporates MEC theory and research. The theoretical and practical usefulness of means-end research increases by asking consumers to name an acceptable alternative to the product and brand used in a recent consumption situation, as well as an unacceptable option and to describe the features/consequences/values of these options. Consequently, alternative relationships of consumer/brands (e.g., casual friendships, marriages, enmities) become relevant for MEC theory. To examine the propositions empirically, this chapter describes psychological schemata for four MECs that combine two consumers’ recent consumption situations with personal values.

Details

Case Study Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-461-4

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