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Price Promotion for Emotional Impact

Price Promotion for Emotional Impact
Aylin Aydinli, Marco Bertini, Anja Lambrecht

Published by Aylin Aydinli

Managers and academics often think of price promotions simply as incentives that entice consumers to choose products they otherwise may not even consider. But the prospect of paying a lower price for a given quality can also compromise deliberation, “dumbing down” the purchase decision by making it less consequential. The authors capture this intuition in a dual-process model of behavior, wherein a drop in deliberation tilts the relative weight of cognitive and affective processes in decision-making in favour of the latter, thereby also shifting choice toward goods with a strong affective component. We report experiments that establish the phenomenon, provide support for the proposed mechanism, rule out justification and mood as plausible alternative explanations, and test a number of extensions. Collectively, these findings contribute to the debate on price promotion-induced brand switching and, in particular, they point to a new source of asymmetry in the way consumers substitute one brand for another.

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