Edited by Bernd H. Schmitt and David L. Rogers
Chapter 13: Experiential Attributes and Consumer Judgments
J. Josko Brakus, Bernd H. Schmitt and Shi Zhang ˇ Traditionally, marketers have focused on functional and meaningful product diﬀerentiation and have shown that such diﬀerentiation is important because consumers engage in a deliberate reasoning process (Chernev, 2001; Shaﬁr et al., 1993; Simonson, 1989). However, nowadays products in many categories are functionally highly similar, and it is diﬃcult for consumers to diﬀerentiate products based on functional attributes. An alternative way of diﬀerentiating is to emphasize non-functional product characteristics or certain aspects of the judgment context. For example, the VW New Beetle brand has used unique colors and shapes very prominently. Apple Computers has used a smiley face that appeared on the screen of computers when they were powered up as well as translucent colors to diﬀerentiate, for example, its iMac and iPod lines from competitive products. In addition, Apple Computers has integrated the colors and shapes of the product design with the design of its websites and the so-called AppleStores. Similar approaches focusing on colors, shapes or aﬀective stimuli have been used for other global brands as well and for local brands in all sorts of product categories, including commodities like water and salt. Here we refer to such attributes, which have emerged in marketing as key diﬀerentiators, as ‘experiential attributes’ (Schmitt, 1999). Speciﬁcally, experiential attributes consist of non-verbal stimuli that include sensory cues such as colors (Bellizzi et al., 1983; Bellizzi and Hite, 1992; Degeratu et al., 2000; Gorn et...
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