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In this case, my preference function for the temperature of tea is conditional on the weather. One 8 Morris B. Holbrook could represent the context-based nature of my preferences by means of situation-specific ideal points Holbrook When applied to the aforementioned concept of the market space, such refinements could have further implications for segment-targeted situationally sensitive marketing strategy.

As also noted by many axiologists Moore ; Parker ; Hall ; Frankena , the general concept of preference embraces a wide variety of value-related terms prominent in various disciplines and including but not limited to such nomenclature as affect pleasing vs. What all such expressions of value share in common is that they represent a unidimensional index of preference order Lamont ; Brandt Further, such preference assessments all refer to value singular as opposed to values plural , raising a question as to whether there is a difference between the singular and plural concepts.

Indeed, it appears that we generally use the former value, singular to designate the outcome of an evaluative judgment that is, the summary valuation , whereas the latter values, plural typically refers to the standards Taylor ; Kahle and Timmer , rules Arrow , criteria Baylis ; Pepper ; Rokeach , norms Pepper , goals Veroff , or ideals Abbott ; Pepper ; Cowan ; Hartman on the basis of which evaluative judgments get made that is, the underlying evaluative criteria.

Among axiologists, Taylor has been especially careful in spelling out the difference between value-as-singular a preferential judgment and values-asplural the relevant criteria on which such a summary judgment rests. Accordingly, notice that our focus here on consumer value singular differs substantially from that which deals with various types of values VALS, LOV, AIO, and other types of psychographically oriented lifestyle research Rokeach ; Kahle The latter focus raises issues concerning individual differences due to personality, education, or culture that—however interesting in their own right—are not of direct concern to the questions pursued here concerning the nature of consumer value singular.

However, issues concerning individual differences will resurface in Introduction 9 later chapters where the effects of personality, education, culture, and other customer characteristics become relevant.

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This claim is critical to my own line of research Holbrook and Hirschman , is inherent in the concept of an interactive relativistic preference Moore , and has received support from any number of philosophically inclined thinkers Lewis ; Hilliard ; Abbott ; Parker ; Baylis ; Taylor ; Mukerjee In essence, the argument in this direction boils down to the proposition that all products provide services in their capacity to create need- or want-satisfying experiences Morris As articulated long ago by Abbott : The thesis…may be stated quite simply.

What people really desire are not products but satisfying experiences. Experiences are attained through activities. In order that activities may be carried out, physical objects or the services of human beings are usually needed…. People want products because they want the experience-bringing services which they hope the products will render.

Specifically, it has roots.


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It is firmly grounded in axiology. And it flowers in a concept of value that offers insights to current marketing thought. When we say that consumer value is an interactive relativistic preference experience, we mean that the relationship of consumers to products subjects to objects operates relativistically depending on relevant comparisons, varying between people, changing among situations to determine preferences that lie at the heart of the consumption experience. In this sense, prescriptively as well as descriptively, Consumer Value shapes the design of Marketing Strategy.

The types of consumer value The preceding discussion describes a conceptualization intended to capture the nature of consumer value, but says little about differences that occur among the 10 Morris B. Holbrook various types of value to be found in consumption experiences. In the latter connection, I propose a framework designed to categorize or classify the various types of value in the consumption experience—that is, a Typology of Consumer Value.

This framework, which serves as the basis for the structure of the present volume, reflects three key dimensions of consumer value: 1 Extrinsic versus intrinsic value; 2 Self-oriented versus other-oriented value; and 3 Active versus reactive value. I shall now explain each in turn. For clarity, they are presented as simple dichotomies, though one can and should envision a set of continua running, in each case, from one extreme to the other with various gradations in between.

Obvious examples would include a hammer, a drill, a screwdriver, or some other tool—valued not for itself but for its power to drive in a nail, to open up a hole, to screw in a screw, or to play some comparable instrumental role.

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Similarly, most of us prize money primarily as a means to the accomplishment of goals viewed as desirable—buying a newspaper, paying for a meal, or purchasing an automobile. By contrast, intrinsic value occurs when some consumption experience is appreciated as an end in itself—for its own sake—as self-justifying, ludic, or autotelic Baylis ; Pepper ; Von Wright ; Frankena ; Bond — A day at the beach serves little useful purpose beyond an enjoyment of the experience itself.

In the latter connection, axiologists are adamant on the point that only an experience— and not some object—can be appreciated as an end in itself Lewis ; Abbott ; Taylor Hence, only a consumption experience can confer intrinsic value. The object serving as the means to such an experience—for example, the bus that takes us to the beach or the ticket that gains us admission to the Bruckner concert—can, at best, possess only extrinsic value as the means to some desired experiential end-in-itself. Indeed, it might be fair to say that, among those mentioned here, this dimension commands the greatest agreement.

Value is self-oriented for myself when I prize some aspect of consumption selfishly or prudently for my own sake, for how I react to it, or for the effect it has on me. For example, my sweater has value at least partly because it keeps me warm.

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My IBM Aptiva personal computer has value because it helps me process words, analyze data, and create pretty pictures. My collection of s westcoast jazz recordings has value because—despite protests from my neighbors for whom it has disvalue —it provides me with enjoyable listening experiences. In short, though my sweater, computer, or record collection may also provide further types of value involving others, one primary source of value derived from these objects lies in their capacities to contribute to my own consumption experiences.

Conversely, other-oriented value looks beyond the self to someone or something else, where my consumption experience or the product on which it depends is valued for their sake, for how they react to it, or for the effect it has on them. I might purchase a Lexus for the sake of impressing my neighbors. I might give up the use of products in aerosol containers because I hope thereby to help save the planet.

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I might attend church in order to experience an ecstatic sense of spiritual union with the Deity. In all such cases, the primary source of value would be other-oriented rather than self-oriented. This active consumer value could involve the physical manipulation of a tangible object driving a car ; the mental manipulation of an intangible object solving a crossword puzzle ; the physical manipulation of an intangible object taking a mind-altering or consciousness-expanding drug ; or even the mental manipulation of a tangible object telekinesis.

All such cases involve something done by the subject to the object in that I act upon it or I move it Diesing Holbrook Conversely, consumer value is reactive when it results from apprehending, appreciating, admiring, or otherwise responding to some object—that is, when it involves things done by a product to or with a consumer as part of some consumption experience. Here, rather than I the subject doing something to it the object , the situation is reversed: It acts upon me or it moves me Hall Such reactive responses might, for example, involve appreciatively examining an abstract expressionist painting; enthusiastically assessing a camera as high in quality; or rapturously opening oneself to a spiritual awakening.

The distinction or continuum between active and reactive value has appeared less frequently in the literature than those between intrinsic and extrinsic or between self- and other-oriented value. However, searching carefully, we do find an emphasis placed on the contrast between activity and passivity Parker ; also Pepper ; Rokeach ; between control and dependence or receptivity Morris , ; between potency and lack thereof Osgood et al.

Collectively, these eight categories provide the framework for the issues of concern to this book dealing comprehensively with the nature and types of consumer value. In other words, Table 1 presents a compact summary of the structure for the present volume. Types of consumer value as topics for subsequent chapters The Typology of Consumer Value just described suggests an outline for organizing the presentations in the chapters that follow.

A brief summary of each focus follows, both from the viewpoint of the typological framework in general and from the more specific perspective of the particular chapter that appears in the main body of the text.

Further details occupy the subsequent chapters that constitute the remainder of this book. Obvious examples would include many of the objects that I typically carry around in my pockets such as keys to open my doors, Kleenex to blow my nose, and coins to get candy bars out of the vending machine. For example, we might assess the efficiency of an automobile as some ratio of miles traveled to gallons of gasoline expended.