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Positioning Pricing and Product Strategy Course Dr. Jared Hansen UNC Charlotte
Means End Theory Excerpts from "Applying Laddering Data to Communications Strategy and Advertising Practice" by Tom Reynolds and David Whitlark. Journal of Advertising Research -July/August 1995
Means End Chains and Consumer Decision Making • One way to understand a means-end chain is to think of consumer decision making as a problem solving process. • In making decisions consumers select a course of action or means to reach an objective or end. • While a means can be an end, an end can also be a means.
Means End (HVMs) Hierarchical Value Maps • A means-end map arranges means and ends into a network of • attributes (product features), • functional consequences (product benefits), • psychosocial consequences (personal benefits), and • personal values or life goals. • The means-end approach for viewing consumer decision-making leads to a means-end theory of communications strategy. • Generally speaking, the theory posits that communications are the most personally relevant and compelling when they make a strong link between the right set of attributes, consequences, and values. • Furthermore, the theory proposes that both brand loyalty and motivation to purchase increases as the rational and emotional connection between person and product increases.
Means End Maps and Strategy • Means-End maps reveal the various sets of connections between product and person that are most prevalent in a market. • Each set of connections is referred to as an “orientation.” • An orientation assembles together a collection of closely related thoughts about the product. • We do not know how all of these different elements are connected in the mind. In a means-end map, by convention they are arranged in order from attribute to value to: (1) standardize the presentation of means-end information, (2) create a logical flow of information ranging from concrete to abstract, and (3) simplify data interpretation and make the mapping results actionable.
Means End Maps and Strategy • Strategy evolves from: (1) understanding the various orientations existing in a market (2) determining and reinforcing competitive strengths related to each orientation (3) adding new elements and linkages to orientations you currently “own” (4) connecting one’s own area of strength to new orientations (5) undermining the strength and/or relevancy of orientations dominated by competitors.
Examples of HVM positioning • Video Examples: • Reagan + Bear in the Woods • Dukakis + Tank • Dove + Campaign for Real Beauty