Benefits Leader Reversion: How a Once-Preferred Product Recaptures Its Standing
Meloy, Margaret G.
Lieb, Daniel Stephen, 1975-
Carlson, K. A., Meloy, M. G., & Lieb, D. (2009). Benefits Leader Reversion: How a Once-Preferred Product Recaptures Its Standing. Journal of Marketing Research, 46(6), 788-797.
In general, consumers establish a preference for one product early in a decision process. When this preference does not include consideration of product prices, the currently preferred product is called the “benefits leader.” This article proposes that consumers who switch to a cheaper product after learning prices retain a trace of preference for the benefits leader. Retention of the benefits leader is evidenced by the distortion of new information to favor the benefits leader and by greater-than normative reversion to it. The authors also find that reversion does not occur when the initially leading product (that consumers switch from) is based on a cost savings. This suggests that though consumers retain cognitive elements associated with benefits leaders, they do not retain similar elements associated with leaders based on cost savings.
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