The marketing literature often assumes that snobs have a preference for rather unique products, while conformists have a preference for products of a more popular nature. At the same time, however, Western consumers have a preference for being unique or individualistic. Not surprisingly, consumers are often confronted with advertising which highlights the exclusivity or uniqueness of a product. This is especially the case when people are faced with limited editions. Limited editions can be found in a vast number of product categories, ranging from luxury items to FMCGs. It is often assumed that limited editions are preferred by consumers with a rather high need for uniqueness, often called snobs. Importantly, however, it can be observed that there is a strong preference for limited editions among people regardless their affection for the unique and special. I hypothesize that limited editions not only signal exclusivity but also popularity. As a result, even people with rather low need for uniqueness, often called conformists, have a surprisingly sizeable preference for limited editions. Thus limited editions attract both snobs and conformists. This is particularly the case when consumers face excess demand, since excess demand may signal both exclusivity (preferred by snobs) and popularity (preferred by conformists). However, to test my hypotheses I use an experimental design.
SchlagworteBetriebswirtschaftslehre Conformism Exclusivity Konsumentenverhalten Limited Edition Marketing Need for Uniqueness Scarcity Snobbism
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