The unconscious and conscious effects of marketing factors on consumer preferences: How Price, COO and Nationality affect WTP on multiple levels

Julie Auning-Hansen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


Marketers and academics have long been discussing the true effect of marketing stimuli such as price, country of origin etc. Furthermore with the emergence of new technologies such as neuroscience marketers are now able to measure consumers’ unconscious reactions to stimuli, which have been shown to be highly important in establishing a more accurate estimate of actual consumer behavior. This thesis aims at measuring the conscious as well as unconscious effects of the factors price, country of origin and subject nationality to establish a holistic framework for marketers to promote products internationally. To answer the research question the authors made statistical analyses based on subjects’ emotional arousal (unconscious), liking and willingness to pay (conscious) during a wine tasting session. During this session subjects were presented with what they expected to be six different wines to taste and subsequently rate. In reality there was only one wine, hence the arousal, liking and willingness to pay for the wines were based on placebo-marketing efforts more specifically - price, country of origin combined with subjects’ nationality. An eye tracking screen captured subjects’ pupil dilation during the tasting to measure unconscious emotional arousal based on the placebo-marketing efforts alone. The results were analyzed to 1) Test hypotheses on the cues’ individual and collective effects on subjects’ willingness to pay, and the cues’ relative strengths in affecting willingness to pay. 2) Whether product preferences were measurable based on subject’s unconscious arousal. If so, the results would show that conscious marketing measures do not fully capture consumer behavior. The results point towards each factor: price, country of origin and nationality, as having an effect on willingness to pay individually and collectively. However the cue price has by far the most significant effect, followed by country of origin and lastly nationality. In order to stay competitive in an increasingly international environment the authors deem it relevant for marketers to understand these stimuli effects. Furthermore the unconscious measure - pupil dilation, does seem to indicate the subsequent willingness to pay, hence it is advisable for marketers to use both conscious and unconscious measures in determining the effect of the factors. Overall the authors’ advice marketers to make strategic use of the insights gained from this study, at a conscious as well as unconscious level to affect consumers’ buying behavior.

UddannelserCand.merc.imm International Marketing and Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
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