The aim of this paper is to study how consumers build expectations and form their perception of perceived quality based on taste, packaging and price of a product. The study is designed to examine how sensory input influence the consumer’s expectation to and perception of a product. The purpose of the study is to research how the different stimulus interact when consumers build their perception of quality and what they value.
To observe how the different stimulus interact data was collected by in-depth interviews. Fourteen participants were introduced to taste and visual stimuli by eating chocolate and examining packages. The participants were asked to evaluate the chocolates and combine them with the presented packages. The packages were revealed to the participants after the tasting and they were lead to believe that the presented packages belonged to the chocolates. Furthermore, they were asked to suggest a text for the backsides of the chocolate packages and to set a price. During the examination the participants where asked about their choices to gain more knowledge about consumers’ trait of thoughts, values and motives. The study showed that the participants were capable of tasting and describing the taste prior being exposed to visual stimuli. While the participants were capable of distinction flavor and taste, visual stimuli proved that it could modify the perception of taste and flavor. There is no clear indication as to which stimuli had the strongest influence on the participants but the study showed that positive comments increased after seeing the packages. Additionally, some participants had realistic expectations and suggestions about the price. Even more, some participants shed a new light on possible influence of price on consumer decision making. There seemed to be a connection between price setting and self-image.
However, the most important discovery was a gap between the participants own likings and perception of quality versus companies’ quality definition. Consumers seem to be well aware of what manufacturers view as quality based on product attributes but how they percept this varies. Some participants distance themselves from marketers’ definition of quality by assuming that they prefer “bad” quality, whereas others relate to it. ́This can potentially lead to a mistrust from the consumers’ point of view. There is a need for further studies to understand how companies can decrease this potential consumer mistrust and meet the consumers’ expectations better.
|Educations||, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||146|