May 29, 2010

Dimensions involved in a consumer’s purchase decision-Generic/Branded!

Normally when a consumer goes to shop general drug such as a pain killer the pharmacist asked to him what he/she might choose a brand or a generic product. Then here comes a question from consumer’s side, what is a difference between a brand and a generic product? Well as so many people don’t know about this difference like this some knows especially who belong to the field of brand management or marketing. Coming back to the point, the simple answer a consumer can get may be as the very delicate difference of its name and price too.
In reality, a generic product is identical or bioequivalent to a brand name product in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. In spite of the equivalent functionality of a generic product to its counterpart brand name product but the question is this why do approximately half of consumers still choose branded products over generic products? Do consumers care about the brand name of the products or the functionality of the products? The answer is again a simple one like prior one: some consumers care more about functionality while others are concerned with both functionality and brand name.
According to two researchers’ theory, there are two main conceptual facets of involvement that moderate consumer decisions: “motivational component” and “reasons for the motivation”. They stated that the former indicates the “cognitive / affective” involvement and the latter points out the “utilitarian / value-expressive” motive. With regard to the cognitive / affective distinction in the motivational component, they suggested that information processing under cognitive involvement differs from that under affective involvement and that the consumer’s involvement is subject to changes over time. For example, a consumer’s evaluation of Apple’s iPod may be initiated by a cognitively involved process that is, the number of songs he can store in an iPod, and an affectively involved process that is, the glossy design of the iPod.
Regarding the utilitarian / value-expressive distinction in involvement motivation, involvement may be divided into two different sub-constructs: product that is utilitarian and brand that is value-expressive involvement. For example, not only may a consumer be involved in his MP3 player purchase decision out of many types and features for example, storage capacity, sound quality, design, and so on of the products in the market, he/she can also be involved in his brand decision out of many different brands for example, Apple iPod, Samsung, Sony, Philips, and so on.
The simple and vivid approach in this article is based on a two researchers’ theory which emphasize on the four dimensions cognitive, affective, Utilitarian, and value expressive. Through exploring the material all around us the conclusion is basically a difference between a generic product and a branded product is not only a name or even a price but it is an emotional attachment of a consumer with its product, and sometimes it might be the value expressive phenomenon that makes the product a brand. Becoming a brand is not a success story for a brand it must be a strong, favorable and unique for its consumers. Unique is important and crucial in a sense that it could solve the problems of the consumers as its first obligation.

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