Price promotion for emotional impact

Aylin Aydinli, Marco Bertini, Anja Lambrecht

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Managers and academics often think of price promotions merely as incentives that entice consumers to accept offers that they might not have considered otherwise. Yet the prospect of paying a lower price for a product of given quality can also discourage deliberation, in a sense dumbing down the purchase encounter by making it less consequential. The authors examine this possibility in a dual-system theory of consumer behavior. Specifically, they argue that price promotion lowers a consumer's motivation to exert mental effort, in which case purchase decisions are guided less by extensive information processing and more by a quicker, easier, strong conditioner of preference: affect. Field data from a large daily deal company and four controlled experiments support this idea and document its implications primarily for product choice, in turn providing insight into the form and cause of brand switching that manufacturers and retailers can leverage to improve the allocation of promotional budgets and category management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-96
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • Asymmetric brand switching
  • Dual-system theories
  • Price promotion
  • Pricing
  • Product choice


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