How do consumers build perception of their favorite brands, is it the actual experience that enhances their experience, or just the perception of the brand. There are approaches to quality experience such as bottoms up processes, which reflect the stimulus experienced by the sensory organs and then forming an expectation of the product for future purposes, and then there is top-down processes in which the actual experience by the senses may be distorted by the individual’s belief system, pre-determined expectation or other stimuli.
Coke is rated higher when served in a cup with brand logo on it. (McClure et al, 2004), Bitter coffee seem less bitter if misinformed about the coffee taste (Olson and Dover, 1978). The experience of a movie can be enhanced if given some positive expectation of the movie. A study was conducted by Klaren et al.(1994) it suggested that positive expectation may linger, A silent movie of Charlie Chaplin, The Immigrant, was shown to some students and they were told before the movie that they would enjoy the movie and not only they reported enjoying it but were also ready to participate in another study related to Charlie Chaplin movie.
An Experiment was conducted by Lee, Frederick, Ariely in which the respondents were asked to taste two samples of beer one was unadulterated beer and other was with some drops of balsamic vinegar. The experiment was conducted under three conditions, firstly, BLIND, in it the respondents were blind folded and were asked to taste the two beers, without any information about the beer contents, secondly, BEFORE, in it the respondents were told before which beer contained balsamic vinegar, thirdly, AFTER, they first tasted the beer and then told which beer contained balsamic vinegar.
The results showed that the preference for the beer, with balsamic vinegar, in blind fold was higher than the other two categories. But when the respondents were told before of the two beers and their content, then there was least preference for beer with balsamic vinegar and in the last experiment when they were told the contents after tasting it then they preferred the beer with balsamic vinegar more than the other.
The experiment showed that that the prior knowledge of the products does affect our decision and preference system. In third experiment the actual experience dominated preference system as there were no prior build-up expectation.
What does the study suggest? Is it the experience (bottom-up process) that will set our preferences for the products or the prior knowledge (top-down process)/ pre-determined expectation?
By: Carolyn, Davin