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Preference construction: How customers form preferences and make purchasing decisions

Product Management Manual pp 445-470 | Cite as

  • Mark Heitmann
  • Manuela Lippuner

abstract

Almost all product policy activities are based on the idea that individuals carry out the evaluation and selection of a product on the basis of clear and unambiguous preferences that are stable over time and exist with regard to all “features and functions”. Descriptive decision-making research, on the other hand, shows that preferences for certain product facets do not exist or are unstable over time. This knowledge is of central importance for product management because the customer goes through a decision-making process when selecting a product, in the course of which preferences are newly formed or existing preferences change. In this respect, it is necessary to interlink descriptive decision theory with the tasks of product management in order to show how individual decision-theoretic effects become effective. This results in starting points for product management in order to influence the purchasing decision behavior of customers.

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