That sales promotions provide a wide range of customer benefits; or when customers find it hard to justify choices when they perceive that promotion offers no needed value may be the reasons that the effectiveness of a promotion depends on the congruency between benefits the product offers and the nature of the product. Therefore, a profound understanding of the congruency framework between category of promoted product and type of promotions can be beneficial. When the congruency is optimized, the benefits of promotions are compatible with promoted products, this will lead to a higher demand of the product1.
Following the most common models of consumer choice, such as attitude formation or economic utility theory, products are evaluated based on the benefits they offer weighted differently by their significance to consumers due to various types of products, buying occasions, and personalities2.Regarding the low-involvement products, consumers incline to devalue their benefits to zero, only some benefits, therefore, the most significant ones, are assessed in the buying evaluation (as in the lexicographic decision-making rules). For instance, the field research of Hoyer about laundry detergent purchasers in America indicated that some benefits, such as product functioning, price, attached emotions, or social standards, make up for 80% of the self-stated benefits looked for. Several researches have verified that the importance of benefits sought are inconstant3. However, Leong’s replicating study presented an unambiguous proof for Hoyer’s study. The results indicated that although Singaporean consumers reported the same list of benefits presenting more than 80% of benefits sought, their weights dramatically vary from those figures of the American. Remarkably, Leong discovered that the importance weighs fluctuate more through products classifications than crosswise over nationalities for a similar classification4.
Subsequently, it is expected that the utilitarian benefits of a particular decision options are given more weight when consumers settle on a utilitarian buy choice, and that hedonic benefits are given more weight when customers settle on a hedonic buy choice. The different significance of the benefits sought suggests that the performance of a sales promotion is higher when its benefits are consistent with those looked for the purchase occasion. Simply put, the benefit congruency rule suggests that deal promotions are more compelling in impacting brand decision when they give the benefits that have the biggest weight in the assessment of a buy option. There is sufficient empirical reinforcement for such a congruency theory in terms of persuasion5. Take Edwards’s finding, hedonic benefits on the taste of a beverage is more inducing than utilitarian information on nutrition when the attitude towards the beverage depends on the flavor rather than the nutritional value6.
Numerous hypotheses about the state of mind change can represent the impacts of benefit congruency. Functional hypotheses of states of mind argue that influence of a promotion is improved when a convincing message stresses the utilitarian or hedonic function that gives the motivational premise of the attitude to be adjusted7.Likewise, Fishbein and Ajzen believed that persuasion endeavors are more effective when they address the relevant beliefs hidden behind the attitude to be changed, that is, the beliefs that are the most critical precursors of an attitude8.
Ultimately, Tversky, Sattath, and Slovic stated that the compatibility theory proposes that shoppers attribute a large weight to the aspect of a product (e.g., its utilitarian benefits) when it is harmonious with or compatible to their objective. These authors content that individuals weight more heavily on the compatible dimensions since these dimensions may be less demanding and surely measured with the output concerned. For example, it is less challenging to evaluate the additional value of a premium to the value of a hedonic product than to the value of a utilitarian product.
This principle, hence, forecasts that promotions whose benefits are harmonious with the promoted product would have a bigger impact on the overall value of the product than a promotion that provides inconsistent benefits9. The benefit of matching theory does not rely on the degree of accumulation of the chosen benefits, and may be applied to the multi-benefit framework, or to their parsimonious dual-dimensional types. This part focuses on the discrimination between hedonic and utilitarian benefits, and analyze the effectiveness of the various kinds of promotions for utilitarian and hedonic choices. The utilitarian or hedonic nature of the buying decision can be inferred by examining the category of promoted products10. Many studies have used the product classification to examine the congruency theory, often in the field of advertising analysis. According to Shavitt, advertisements of utilitarian products will be more influential to customers attitude if they focus on utilitarian benefits, and vice versa11.
For instance, charity activities were more impactful if provided for a hedonic product instead of a utilitarian product12.