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Factors that Alter the Perceived Quality of Products - Essay Example

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Factors that Alter the Perceived Quality of Products

Not only are consumers bombarded with overwhelming decision-making scenarios on a constant basis, numerous other considerations come into play before they determine which product they want to buy including the amount of time they have to shop, the time they have available between other activities, and their other daily stresses and concerns. Add the constant deluge of sales pitches, different combinations of benefits, complicated terms of service, fluctuating prices, and highly persuasive, psychologically driven promotional messages and consumers' perception of product quality is highly compromised. A great deal of research has gone into determining just how consumers deal with it all in order to come to any form of buying decision. These studies have discovered that a great deal of consumer decisions are based on a weighted measure between perceived quality, current need, and other emotional factors (Morris & Morris, 1990). While it is not possible for marketers to control consumers' current needs, there are several ways in which understanding those other emotional factors can help marketers improve perceived quality of products. Perceived quality of a product is very important in consumer buying decisions and will have an effect on how much can be charged for the product as well as where the product should be placed, how it should be packaged, and what types of consumers will be likely to purchase it. When consumers perceive a brand to have a high quality, the brand is able to engage in reverse discounting - reducing the price of an already high-priced product to a point that is still well within the profit margin. Understanding of how much a product is worth is determined to a great degree by the eye of the consumer. This perception can be introduced and maintained by the marketer through the application of a high price tag and sometimes restricted market access. This marketing practice establishes the product as being rare and of high quality, encouraging consumers to pay more in order to improve their personal status within a similarly educated society (Passewitz, 2005). Continued feelings of perceived quality can be enhanced without prohibitively pricing the product out of the market by introducing value bundling. By bundling complimentary products together and offering them at a 'discounted' rate, consumers are encouraged to consider the probable cost of the individual pieces and perceive a good deal (Evoy, 1999). However, this method of manipulating perception of quality has its own bundle of concerns. Different approaches taken in research on this topic include examinations of price, the decision-making process, motivation, and application of the elaboration likelihood model (ELM). Price Studies into how price can be used to influence consumers' perception of product quality have identified two major strategies (Morris & Morris, 1990). Consumers see the low prices of bargain brands and assume that the strategy is to sell in bulk. The assumption is the products are of inferior quality - serviceable but not necessarily built to last. 'Quality' is thus defined as durability and not mass produced as opposed to 'value' which is defined as how many (in quantity or benefits) can one get for how few pounds. When the goal is instead to emphasize the high quality of the product, the competition is focused on being the highest priced on the market (Morris & Morris, 1990). To justify the additional expense, marketers bring attention to the higher than average quality of materials used and other attention to detail. In this way, high end marketers build off of the preconceived ideas of quality established by low end marketers (that 'quality' is ...Show more


Most people consider themselves to be making smart decisions when they choose to purchase products of high value, particularly when they can find them at a discounted price. This is never true in reality though…
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Factors that Alter the Perceived Quality of Products essay example
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