Bmr

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Bmr

  1. 1. Research on the Theoretical Model of Factors Affecting Consumers’ Perception Quality of the Products of Private Brand* Sha Zhenquan1 Zhang Depeng2 1 College of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, P. R. China, 510641 2 School of Economics and Management, Guangdong University of Technology, P. R. China, 510090Abstract In order to effectively develop private brands, it is necessary for retailing enterprises to makeclear the factors affecting consumers’ perception quality of the products of private brands. Based ondetailed literature review, the paper points out the main factors affecting consumers’ perception quality.According to the actual situation of China’s retailing enterprises, the paper analyses the relationshipbetween every affecting factor and consumers’ perception quality, and finally sets up the theoreticalmodel on the factors affecting consumers’ perception quality.Key words Perception quality, Consumer, Affecting factor, Theoretical model1 Introduction At present, the trend, which big-size international retailing enterprises develop the products ofprivate brands by themselves, has been formed. Confronting with aggravating market competition,big-size retailing enterprises in China have become to pay attentions to the development of the productsof private brands. The precondition of successful operation of products’ brands is the consumers’ approbation andpurchase, which are depended on the consumers’ perception value of the products. Among thecomponent factors of the consumers’ perception value, consumers’ perception quality is one of the keyfactors. Because the researches on private brands in China are just in their beginning stage, the factorsaffecting consumers’ perception quality of the products of private brands have not been made clear yet.Thus, researching on the theoretical model of factors affecting consumers’ perception quality will be ofguiding significance to promote the theory research and the actual development of the products ofprivate brands.2 Literature Review2.1 The Actual Quality of Products and the Perception Quality of Products Product quality has two kinds of expressive forms, actual quality and perception quality. The actualquality of products means the whole merits and advantages of real products, which can be judged orevaluated based on corresponding standards. However, the perception quality of products meansconsumers’ judgment on the whole merits and advantages of products. It is the consumers’ subjectiveevaluation and judgment on product quality. Zeithmal thought, in 1985, that consumers evaluated products based on their perceptions on the price,quality and value of products, but not based on the objective attributes of products such as the durabilityof products. This is a subjective judgment. The perception quality is a higher-level summary for theproducts. It is not any specific attributes of products, but is a subjective judgment based on consumers’own concrete hypothesis.2.2 The Perception Quality of the Products of Private Brands According to the analysis above, the perception quality of the products of private brands meansconsumers’ subjective perception on the product quality of private brands provided by retailingenterprises. For a long time, retailing enterprises have only token on the intermediary functions todeliver the products from manufacturing enterprises to consumers. Consumers are accustomed to* Supported by Guangzhou Philosophy and Social Science Item (No.YZ1-16) 838
  2. 2. purchasing products made by manufacturing enterprises, and not familiar with the products of privatebrands provided by retailing enterprises. Especially in our country, the private brand has just beendeveloped in recent years. Therefore, it is generally difficult for consumers to effectively evaluate andjudge the actual attributes of the products of private brands. Consumers’ perception quality of theproducts of private brands is generally lower than their actual quality.2.3 The Factors Affecting Consumers’ Perception Quality As a matter of fact, many scholars have begun their researches by using the perception quality asan important standard for consumers to evaluate the products of private brands. In 1974, Sundeldiscovered that if consumers were let to separately evaluate the canned corn of the brands ofmanufacturing enterprises and that of the private brands of retailing enterprises, they would thought thatthe corn quality of the brand of manufacturing enterprises was better than that of the private brands ofretailing enterprises. Similarly, in 1982, Cunningham’s research showed that the external features, label,taste and selective scope of the foods of the brands of manufacturing enterprises were better than that ofthe private brands of retailing enterprises. Those researches also showed that compared with that of the brands of manufacturing enterprises,the products of the private brands of retailing enterprises were generally positioned as a kind of lowquality products by consumers. In 1979, Fugate’s experimental research initially explored the causes ofthe low perception quality of private brands. In his experiment, the product packages of private brandswere used as a controlled factor; i.e. some product (for example, cake and jam) packages are expressedwith the brands of manufacturing enterprises. The experimental results showed that consumers’evaluation was low if the names of manufacturing enterprises were not printed on the product packagesof private brands; the show of the brands of manufacturing enterprises had a positive effect onconsumers’ evaluations. Especially when the product brands of manufacturing enterprises wereextensively known by consumers and had high celebrities, consumers’ positive evaluation would bemore obvious. Richard, Dick and Jain, in 1994, farther examined the effects of various indications such as price,package and so on, on the quality evaluation of private brands. They found that consumers’ evaluationon the product quality of private brands would be high when the products of private brands were packedinto the products of the brands of manufacturing enterprises, and showed with the price ofmanufacturing enterprises. Meanwhile, when the brands of manufacturing enterprises were showed withthe private brands of retailing enterprises, consumers’ evaluation on the product quality would greatly bereduced. The research showed that consumers’ evaluation on private brands were highly depended onthe external attributions of products, not their actual quality. Manolis, in 1994, pointed out that consumers made their value judgments based on these factorssuch as the overall service quality, product quality, price and inside atmosphere of the stores. Aaker in1997, Wheatley and Chiu in 1977, pointed out that the brands, store images and store names were theimportant factors for consumers to judge quality. Because the products of private brands are provided byretailing enterprises, the retailing enterprises are the brands of products to a certain extent. Therefore,with regard to the products of private brands, the reputations of retailing enterprises represented thebrand name, the image and product name. Based on the analysis above and the overall concept of products, when consumers purchase theproducts of private brands, the factors affecting consumers’ perception quality should include the price,actual quality, package, service quality of the products of private brands and the reputation of retailingenterprises.3 Research Hypotheses and Model3.1 Putting forward the Research Hypotheses3.1.1 The Price of the Products of Private Brands Price is always considered as an important index to evaluate product quality (Olson, 1977).Because price can affect consumers’ purchasing demands and the gradation classifications of products, 839
  3. 3. consumers often use price to evaluate the quality gradation of products. Therefore, the relationshipbetween the price of products of private brands and the quality of products of private brands can bepositive relative. However, some researchers pointed out that if more conditions could be gained, the positiverelative relationship could not be untenable (Dodds et al, 1991; Eeithaml, 1980). Of course, Richardson,in 1994, discovered that the low price of the products of private brands would reduce consumers’perception quality, and made consumers not be willing to purchase the products of private brands.Because the private brands of retailing enterprises have just sprung up in China, and consumers areunfamiliar with them and their corresponding intrinsic quality. The price of the products of privatebrands can bring forth the positive effects on consumers’ perception quality. Therefore, the followinghypothesis can be brought forwards. H1: The prices of the products of private brands and consumers’ perception quality are positiverelative.3.1.2 The Quality of Products of Private Brands According to the definition of Amercia Quality Control (AQC), the quality of products means thesum of the characteristics and special properties of products or services. It can meet the inherent andself-evident demands of consumers. After consumers purchase and use the products of private brands,they can experience the actual quality characteristics of products of private brands such as functions,useful life, and reliability and so on. If these characteristics are good, consumers’ perception quality canbe raised and vice verse. Therefore, the following hypothesis can be brought forwards. H2: The qualities of the products of private brands and consumers’ perception quality are positiverelative.3.1.3 The Service Quality of Retailing Enterprises In general, consumers hope to gain extra services to support them to purchase and use products orservices. In China, the private brands of retailing enterprises have just been put into markets. They arebelongs to new brands for consumers. It is necessary for retailing enterprises to provide consumers withessential services such as introducing the characteristics of new brands, permitting consumers to replaceor return products bought without any difficulity, and other after-sales services. Whether and howefficient these services are provided directly affect consumers’ perception quality of the products ofprivate brands. Therefore, the following hypothesis can be brought forwards. H3: The service quality of retailing enterprises and consumers’ perception quality are positiverelative.3.1.4 The Package Gradation of the Products of Private Brands The rational package of products can not only be convenient for consumers to use products, butalso change the extra image of products and attract consumers to purchase products. After the marketingpersonnel in Du Pont de Nemours, E. I. & Company in America had made marketing researches, theybrought forwards the famous law of their company: 63% of consumers make their purchasing decisionsbased on the package and decoration of products; when housewives do shopping in supermarkets, theitems they have purchased are often 45% more than what they originally expected to purchase becauseof the attraction of exquisite package and decoration of products. Thus, the package of products issimilar to the face and dress of products. It serves as the first image of products and affects consumers tomake their purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, the package of products is one of the component parts ofthe whole products. In general, the products of high gradation are outfitted with the package of highgradation. If the package of products is comparatively exquisite, consumers generally think the qualityof products is comparatively high. Therefore, the following hypothesis can be brought forwards. H4: The packages of the products of private brands and consumers’ perception quality are positiverelative.3.1.5 The Reputation of Retailing Enterprises In 1961, Stigler thought that the reputation of enterprises showed the consistency with the qualityof their products, and could gain higher price of products. The reason was that it could reduce 840
  4. 4. consumers’ time and cost to seek products. Bolten and Drew in 1991, Tears and Agarwal in 2000,pointed out that the reputations of retailing enterprises were formed by consumers’ oral communications,enterprise advertisements and precipitation of brand values. These researchers also showed thatconsumers’ oral recommends played an important role in reducing consumers’ misgivings on productquality and helping consumers to make their purchasing decisions. In 1997, Aaker thought that theprivate brands of retailing enterprises could affect the consumers’ expected quality when they broughtproducts. In 1990, Hoyer and Brown believed that the reputation of retailing enterprises played a role ofa spokesman of product quality, it could help consumers to make their selections when they faced withplenty of product information; retailing enterprises could also apply their reputations to affectingconsumers’ attitudes on the products of private brands. Therefore, the following hypothesis can bebrought forwards H5: The reputation of retailing enterprises and consumers’ perception quality of products can bepositive relative.3.2 Hypothesis Model Summarizing the analyzing results above, the hypothesis model can be brought forwards, as shownin figure 1. Price of Quality of Service Package of Reputation of Product Product Quality Product Retailing Enterprise Consumers’ Perception Quality Fig. 1 the Model the Factors affecting Consumers’ Perception Quality4 Conclusions Theoretically, when consumers purchase the products of private brands, the factors affectingconsumers’ perception quality include the price, quality, package, service quality of the products ofprivate brands and the reputation of retailing enterprises. Thus, the hypothesis model is built up. Ofcourse, the model is only a theoretical hypothesis. Whether it is consistent with the actual operationsituation of China’s retailing enterprises is still needed to be proved. So, it is necessary to carry out thepositive researches on the model. With the results of the positive researches, the retailing enterprises inChina can make clear and definite the factors affecting the consumers’ perception quality and also usethe results to guide their development of private brands. Reference[1]Aaker D. A., Should you take your brand to where the action is? Harvard Business Review 75: 135-151, 1997[2]Bolton, R. N., & Drew, J. H., A multistage model of consumers’ assessments of service quality and value, Journal of Consumer Research, 17, 375-384, 1991[3]Burton S, Lichtenstein D. R., Netemeyer R. G., & Carretson J. A., A scale for measuring attitude toward private label products and an examination of its psychological and behavioral correlates. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 26, 293-306, 1998[4]Devon Delvechinc. Consumer Perception of Private Brand Quality. Journal of Retailing and , Consumer Service 32, 23-38, 2001[5]Dhar S. K., & Hoch S. J., Why store brand pentration varies by retailer, Marketing Scinece, 16, 208-207, 1997[6]Donovoan R. J., Rossiter J. R., & Nesdale A., Store atmosphere and purchase behavior, Journal of 841
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