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Price promotions and their effect upon reference prices

Lowe, Ben, Yeow, Pamela, Yee, Fanny (2014) Price promotions and their effect upon reference prices. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 23 (4/5). pp. 349-361. ISSN 1061-0421. (doi:10.1108/JPBM-01-2014-0485) (KAR id:46628)


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to resolve inconsistencies in the literature about how one-time price promotions affect reference prices.

Specifically, this study suggests that the measure of reference price used within a study (e.g. expected price or fair price) can affect the outcomes

of that study.

Design/methodology/approach – This research uses three separate experiments, replicating and extending existing work, to simulate purchasing

decisions for products in the context of a price promotion. Experiments allow careful control of the confounds presumed to cause the inconsistencies

between studies.

Findings – Study 1 shows that measurement of different reference prices within the same experiment leads to carryover effects, which inflate the

correlation between measures. Expected price and fair price appear to be conceptually and empirically distinct and should be measured separately

to reduce design artifacts. Study 2 shows that one-time price promotions affect fair price, but not expected price, and Study 3 shows expected price

and fair price converge after multiple promotions.

Research limitations/implications – Independent measurement of reference price concepts allows robust claims about their distinctiveness. These

findings have implications for how reference price should be measured in survey research and for pricing and promotional strategy.

Originality/value – This research contributes by showing how the measure of reference price used affects the outcomes of price promotion studies.

It does this through the replication and extension of past research. Replication allows greater confidence in the findings of past research, and testing

the same findings under different conditions allows for the boundaries of existing research to be delimited and generalizations to be made.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/JPBM-01-2014-0485
Uncontrolled keywords: Fair price, Reference price, Expected price, Sales promotions
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5415 Marketing
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: P.M.N. Yeow
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2015 17:01 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 15:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Lowe, Ben.

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Yeow, Pamela.

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