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Image effects: how brand images change consumers' product ratings


Fichter, C. Image effects: how brand images change consumers' product ratings. 2008, University of Zurich, Faculty of Arts.

Abstract

The aim of my dissertation was to investigate image effects in consumer behavior. I examined how strongly product evaluations are influenced by brand images and if image effects can be explained by consumers’ levels of involvement, knowledge, usage and satisfaction. In doing so, I focused on the importance of image for consumers
and treated it as a unique factor for understanding consumer decision making.
In Chapter 1 I laid the grounds for empirical image research by anchoring the concept in its historical roots, considered relevant philosophical implications, and proposed an accurate definition. I then outlined an empirical framework by embedding it into the closely related domains of dual-process models, stereotypes, and heuristic decision making.
In Chapter 2 I described the first study. Using newspapers as product domain, I established a scenario for image manipulation. The main hypothesis that brand images influence product ratings was confirmed. The respective hypotheses that this influence would be moderated by consumers’ levels of involvement, knowledge, and product
usage were not confirmed. I found further that image effects are stronger for more salient images, persist on holistic and detailed rating levels, and affect not only product ratings but also consumers’ self-reports.
In Chapter 3 I presented the second study, which served to replicate the image effect in a domain with less salient images and to elaborate the moderating roles of
involvement and knowledge. The findings confirmed the main effect of image and its independence of involvement and knowledge. Further, image was found to be more important for product ratings than actual customer satisfaction.
In Chapter 4 I discussed the importance of the findings and drew references to related research. Finally, I explained my findings in terms of the proposed theoretical framework and suggested the next research steps. This research is of relevance mainly for three target groups: Consumer psychologists are encouraged to consider image effects in future studies. Brand managers will recognize that image research allows for insights far beyond traditional
methods. Consumers may clarify their perceptions of brand products – by being aware of the influence of images, they can possibly make better choices.

The aim of my dissertation was to investigate image effects in consumer behavior. I examined how strongly product evaluations are influenced by brand images and if image effects can be explained by consumers’ levels of involvement, knowledge, usage and satisfaction. In doing so, I focused on the importance of image for consumers
and treated it as a unique factor for understanding consumer decision making.
In Chapter 1 I laid the grounds for empirical image research by anchoring the concept in its historical roots, considered relevant philosophical implications, and proposed an accurate definition. I then outlined an empirical framework by embedding it into the closely related domains of dual-process models, stereotypes, and heuristic decision making.
In Chapter 2 I described the first study. Using newspapers as product domain, I established a scenario for image manipulation. The main hypothesis that brand images influence product ratings was confirmed. The respective hypotheses that this influence would be moderated by consumers’ levels of involvement, knowledge, and product
usage were not confirmed. I found further that image effects are stronger for more salient images, persist on holistic and detailed rating levels, and affect not only product ratings but also consumers’ self-reports.
In Chapter 3 I presented the second study, which served to replicate the image effect in a domain with less salient images and to elaborate the moderating roles of
involvement and knowledge. The findings confirmed the main effect of image and its independence of involvement and knowledge. Further, image was found to be more important for product ratings than actual customer satisfaction.
In Chapter 4 I discussed the importance of the findings and drew references to related research. Finally, I explained my findings in terms of the proposed theoretical framework and suggested the next research steps. This research is of relevance mainly for three target groups: Consumer psychologists are encouraged to consider image effects in future studies. Brand managers will recognize that image research allows for insights far beyond traditional
methods. Consumers may clarify their perceptions of brand products – by being aware of the influence of images, they can possibly make better choices.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Jonas K, Gutscher H
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:27 Oct 2008 15:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:30
Number of Pages:249
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/exlibris/aleph/a18_1/apache_media/DSVSNU9CETKI2V81B27KT1VF1ACPLK.pdf
http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005583045
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-4549

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