Lennartz, Eric Michael (2016). Essays on Consumer Perception - Applications to Inflation, Business-to-Business Brands, and Response Styles. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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An important objective of marketing research is to uncover perception processes between the implementation of marketing activities and the actual consumer reaction. Only if marketing managers know these processes, they are able to design effective marketing activities. Therefore, this dissertation addresses three areas of consumer perception that lack understanding. The first project deals with how consumers perceive price inflation. It develops and validates a psychological rating scale to measure perceived inflation across product categories. Overall, consumers tend to overestimate inflation, but individual perception largely depends on consumer and category characteristics. Two processes lead to the fact that perceived inflation differs from official values: consumers’ perceive individual product price changes differently to official price changes and aggregate them using subjective instead of official weights. The second and third project analyze how managers and organizational buyers perceive brands based on a manager survey in Germany, India (only project two), and the U.S. While the second project deals with B2B brand strength, the third project assesses how B2B brands gain relevance for managers’ purchase decisions. Main finding of project two is that B2B brand associations split up into ‘sustainability and corporate governance’ as well as ‘innovation and expertise’. Moreover, product and distribution perception largely shape B2B brand strength. Project three shows that B2B managers use brands to bundle information on purchase risk and brands’ imagery benefits. Manager and organizational characteristics moderate the influence of B2B brand functions on brand relevance. Both projects show that brand perception in B2B markets differs to B2C markets. Moreover, concepts hold across countries and industries, but ample variation exists for individual effect sizes and the role of moderators. The fourth project deals with the phenomenon of growing cultural diversity. It reviews current literature on how culture may shape response styles in survey research. Overall, this cumulative dissertation provides insights on three questions that have been raised by researchers. The first project contributes to the question of how subjective data help explain economic phenomena. It offers a tool to track perceived inflation and insights on the drivers of inflation perceptions. As perceived inflation may shape consumer behavior, it provides intuition for managerial decisions and policymaking. The second and fourth project deal with the question of how organizational buyers make purchase decisions. They detail the knowledge on when and how managers include intangible criteria into their decisions. By showing ample variation across countries, industries, and individual managers, this dissertation offers various insights on managerial perception processes and the design of B2B branding strategies. The fourth project contributes to the question of how population differences in cognition and communication affect the response process. It provides a framework and generalizations on cultural influences on response styles. Therefore, this dissertation also offers intuition for researchers and practitioners on how to consider potential contamination from cross-cultural surveys and samples.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Lennartz, Eric Michaeleric-lennartz@web.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-74988
Date: 21 December 2016
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Business Administration > Marketing > Professorship for Business Administration, Marketing and Market Research
Subjects: Management and auxiliary services
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Consumer PerceptionEnglish
Price PerceptionEnglish
Scale DevelopmentEnglish
Price KnowledgeEnglish
Business-to-Business MarketingEnglish
Brand StengthEnglish
Brand AssociationsEnglish
Country EffectsEnglish
Industry EffectsEnglish
Branding and Brand ManagementEnglish
Survey MethodEnglish
Brand RelevanceEnglish
Cross-category AnalysisEnglish
Business-to-Business MarketsEnglish
Survey ResearchEnglish
Response StylesEnglish
Date of oral exam: 9 February 2017
NameAcademic Title
Fischer, MarcProf. Dr.
Bruno, Hernán A.Prof. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/7498


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