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Loyalty differences in the use of internal and external reference prices


Recent findings in reference price research suggest that consumer characteristics may affect whether they use an internal reference price (IPR) or an external reference price (ERP) in price judgments. In this paper, we investigate the role of one such characteristic, brand loyalty, in the use of either type of reference price. Specifically, we employ a latent class-type approach to divide consumers on the basis of their brand loyalty into an ERP and an IRP segment. Analysis of the margarine and liquid detergents categories shows that consumers who are highly loyal to a brand are likely to use external reference prices whereas less brand-loyal consumers rely on internal reference prices. We discuss the implications of this finding and suggest directions for future research.

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Mazumdar, T., Papatla, P. Loyalty differences in the use of internal and external reference prices. Marketing Letters 6, 111–122 (1995).

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Key words

  • Internal reference price
  • external reference price
  • brand loyalty
  • segmentation