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The Impact of Power Distance Belief on Consumers' Brand Preferences

Jessie J. Wang, Ashok K. Lalwani and Devon DelVecchio

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2022, vol. 39, issue 3, 804-823

Abstract: Five lab studies and a field study explore how power distance belief (PDB) influences consumers' preference for mass-market versus niche brands, the underlying mechanisms, and boundary conditions. We find that high (vs. low) PDB consumers are more likely to prefer mass-market over niche brands because they tend to be risk averse, which in turn increases preference for widely used brands. Consequently, the relationship between PDB and brand preferences is mediated by risk aversion. Further, when product usage contexts are risky, low (but not high) PDB consumers' preference for mass-market brands increases, whereas offering an extended money-back guarantee increases high (but not low) PDB consumers' preference for niche brands. In addition, we find that when choosing service providers (versus choosing physical goods), low (but not high) PDB consumers are significantly more likely to prefer mass-market brands over niche brands. We conclude with the implications of these findings for marketers, such as for their segmentation and targeting endeavors. We also provide specific tools that marketers could use, both inside and outside the store, to influence consumers' preference for mass-market versus niche brands.

Keywords: Power distance belief; Mass-market brand; Niche brand; Risk aversion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2021.11.004

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