retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Forbes reports on a new study conducted by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, revealing that consumers perceive products that emphasize a single attribute as superior to those offering all-in-one attributes, especially if they tend to be priced at roughly the same level. The only time they tended to trust products with multiple attributes more, according to the study, is when that item costs more money.

Marketing Professor Alexander Chernev tells Forbes that “his conclusions about consumer perception of individual products could be extended to brand names: Companies branching out from a single specialty into multiple product lines run the risk that customers won't think they are as good at their core competency.”
KC's View:
Interesting. Though we’d have to say as a consumer, we wouldn’t necessarily agree with the conclusion about brand names. If we trust a particular company on one item, we tend to extend them the benefit of the doubt and trust them on anything they make. Until, of course, they screw up. (And then not only do we stop trusting them and tell our friends, but we also expose them to ridicule on MNB.)

As for the single attribute vs. multiple attributes debate, the conclusions there don’t surprise us…not since we were told in college that copious amounts of beer would make us thinner, smarter and irresistible. Talk about going zero-for-three…