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How does consumer age affect the desire for new products and brands? A multi-group causal analysis

Abstract

Marketing lacks comprehension on the increasingly important segment of mature consumers in regard to their behavior and respective reasons for certain behavior. This study on the desire for alternative products or brands within the domain of fast moving consumer goods was capable of verifying differences among age-groups. While the keenness for cross-buying increases with age, the desire for switching to other familiar brands than the one usually purchased, and the desire for switching to new brand alternatives decrease with age; Thus indicating age-patterns in product category-specific innovativeness and variety seeking. The study also considers a wide range of behavioral determinants such as product satisfaction, product involvement, category experience, perceived purchase risk etc. mediating the effect of age on these desires, giving a fairly good picture of the unveiled causes for the age group differences. Furthermore, the issue of age potentially operating as a moderating variable on the effects of the behavioral determinants on the desires for product and brand alternatives found consideration in this study, but was proven to be of marginal relevance.

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Notes

  1. Relying on “desires” as a good indicator for respective behaviors instead of analyzing the specific behaviors themselves is owed to the fact that the former is easier to assess, e.g. in a survey.

  2. Unknown is used in a sense of no pre-existing consumption experience by the respective consumer.

  3. A variable concerned with a new product of another brand was not considered because of its very hypothetical character when analyzing fast moving consumer goods. If a product is new to the consumer as long he has no experience with it, a product of a new brand will always be a new product as well.

  4. Index values of the factors went into the analysis. An analysis according to factor values follows.

  5. In some studies, the change in global fit statistics are referred to be a good indicator in analysing invariance (Yin and Fan 2003; Hong et al. 2003; de Jong et al. 2007).

  6. Normal distribution of the data is not required.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful for financial support from Unilever, Hamburg, and from the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.

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Correspondence to Roland Helm.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 9.

Table 9 Operationalization of latent variables, measures, and goodness-of-fit-indices

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Helm, R., Landschulze, S. How does consumer age affect the desire for new products and brands? A multi-group causal analysis. Rev Manag Sci 7, 29–59 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-011-0072-7

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Keywords

  • Optimal stimulation theory
  • Consumer behavior
  • Exploratory behavior
  • Adoption
  • New products
  • Older consumers
  • Age effects

JEL classification

  • M30
  • M31
  • J14
  • C31