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International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

An overview of the consumer value literature

perceived value, desired value
Doriana Dumitrela MORAR
Babe-Bolyai University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Romnia
ABSTRACT The main idea of the present article is to shed light on the concept of value and
its importance stated in the literature. The consumer perceived value construct is a very
important component in the consumer value literature and it has been identified as one of the
most important measures for gaining a competitive edge, being perceived as the basis for all
marketing activities. The research methodology resumes to observing, summarizing,
comparing and highlighting the most relevant information on consumer perceived value
available in the studied literature. The present article sustains the idea that consumers
perceived value can been associated with customer satisfaction, which leads to customer
loyalty and retention, positive word-of-mouth, stronger competitive position, and higher
market share. Regarding the methodology used in the development of the study, I appealed to
the documentary research by consulting different speciality articles, in order to find out
relevant aspects for the analized issues. The informational basis of the paper resides in the
results of different findings captured both from online and phisic sources, articles published
both in Romanian and foreign literature. The article is conceptual and suggests a new
theoretical frame of reference describing value.Based on the literature, findings indicate
different opinions regarding the circumstances within consumers perceive value or even think
about it. Definitions given by the authors differ throughout the concepts analyzed : utility,
benefits, quality and satisfaction; fact that rises difficulty in comparing their opinions. The
authors could not find a common path over the components of perceived value and, of course,
over a consistent and clear definition of it.
Keywords: customer perceived value, desired value, value in use, customer satisfaction
JEL Classification: M31

1. Introduction
The concept of "value" is a key-element in marketing. Marketing managers are encouraged to
adopt strategies related to the value expected by the consumer, to promote and enhance the
long-term success (Gale, 1994; Hamel and Prahalad, 1994; Woodruff, 1997; Flint et al.,
2002). The literature contains a large variety of models to conceptualize the customer value
(Graf and Maas, 2008), which is considered to be the key outcome in the general model of
consumption experiences (Babin, Darden and Griffin, 1994; Holbrook, 1986); also, perceived
value of the consumer has been argued to be the most important indicator of repurchase
Intentions (Parasuraman and Grewal, 2000), being said that with the recognition of the
importance of consumer perceived value comes the recognition that retailers must deliver the
value which will increase the shopping intention of consumers by creating and delivering
good shopping experiences.


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

As Peterson (1995) stated, the consumer can either appreciate the economic benefits of a
purchase process, or can get a better service adapted to his/her own needs (Gwinner et al.,
1998; Rust et al, 2000). Other benefits enjoyed by consumers during their purchase process
are the social ones, arising from the establishment of a specific relationship. Because of this,
maintaining a consumer may be ten times cheaper than acquiring a new customer (Heskett et
al.,1990), so companies need to make efforts for retaining customers. Therefore,
organizations must focus their work on managing perceived value by consumers.
In order to better understand the approached subject, the author decided to select the most
relevant definitions from the field and to build in the present paper a framework that will
allow readers to deepen the knowledge in this regard. Thus, will be approached elements in
connection to how customers evaluate their perceived value, how can it be measured in order
to be used as a management tool etc.
Several studies conducted by marketing specialists have proved the fact that value is given
when a product/service has the ability to satisfact the consumer needs and wishes. This reality
determined me to start a deeper research within the problem/aspect above, in a dinamic
context of continuous change within the consumer expectations.
2. Customer Value approaches
Value can be studied either as single universal concept or by adopting the vantage and
contingency perspective of a particular source of value (Lepak, Smith and Taylor, 2007).
Value can be seen from various perspectives, including both from the customer and suppliers
point of view (Smith and Colgate, 2007; Payne et al., 2008).
Despite the above-debated pivotal position of value, the literature demonstrates a lack of
convergence because of its available definitions, conceptualization and operationalization
(Woodall, 2003). This divergence is -to some extent- explained by the scope and
multifariousness of the value concept; indeed, Woodall (2003: 3) observes the the literature
on value per se is as broad as it is extensive, and is represented as much in the fields of
economics and philosophy as it is in the domain of business.
The idea of creating value for customers is related to the fact that there are sensible
differences between what customers want and what they get after having bought the product.
The value offered to the customer represents, in this way, the difference between total
customer value (TCV) and total customer cost (TCC). TCV is the total of the customers
expectations on a specific product or service, while TCC is the cost undergone by customers
in searching, evaluating, obtaining, using and selling out a product or service (Selvi, 2007:
138) Total customer values, total customer cost, value to be offered to the customer and
perceived value are shown in the following table.
Table 1. Components of Customer Value
Total Customer Cost

Financial C. + Time C. + Energy C. + Mental C.

Total Customer Value

Product V. + Services V. + Staff V. + Image V.

Value to be presented to the Customer

Total Customer Value Total Customer Cost

Customers Perceived Value

Benefit/Difficulties (customers underwent)

(Source: adapted by the author after the references of the paper)

Usually, customers -when they buy products or services- choose those services/products that
provide them the highest value. Therefore, they have their own knowledge, movement and
income limits and they seek for the highest value in accordance with their own research costs;
as a fact, they develop a perceived value and act in strong connection with this. Products,
service and value provided by the company for its customers will have an effect on whether


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

these are suitable to the customers perception, whether costumers are satisfied (or not) with
this product/service and whether they will prefer to buy products and services belonging to
this company again (Kotler, 2000: 34). If they consider that a specific product/service is
suitable to their needs, they appreciate its cost as being in concordance with the perceived
value they will buy over again from that company considering that the company gains their
trust and fidelity.
2.1.Theoretical Framework Definitions of the Perceived Value
Perceived value represents an abstract concept with varying meanings depending of the
context. Generally, this is defined from the point of view of consumers. Zeithaml (1988: 14)
has suggested that perceived value can be regarded as the overall assessment of a consumer
regarding the utility of a product (or service), which is thought to be based on perceptions of
what is received and what is given". Although what is received and/or given varies across
consumers, value "represents a tradeoff of the salient give and get components" (Zeithaml,
1988: 14). Several researchers consider value as being a monetary sacrifice incurred during
the service and product consumption process (Cronin et al., 2000; Einhorm and Hogarth,
1981; Kahneman and Tversky, 1979). In contrast to this (Bolton and Drew, 1991), others
authors believe that seeing perceived value as a compromise between quality and price is very
simplistic; more than that, Monroe (1990) views value as the trade-off between the quality or
benefits consumers perceive in the purchased product/service, relative to the sacrifice they
perceive by paying the price for the product.
As price represents one of the most important components that drive value perceptions (Varki
and Colgate, 2001), several studies show that it plays a critical role in influencing customer
satisfaction levels (Bolton and Lemon, 1999; Shankar, Rangaswamy and Pusateri, 2001;
Voss, Parasuraman and Grewal, 1998). Bolton and Lemon (1999) indicate that price is a
salient factor that can influence customers evaluation of services, while Voss et al. (1998)
find that price affects satisfaction in a hotel check-in scenario.
According to the definition of Zeithaml (1988: 14), perceived value is based on customer's
experience and is seen as a compromise between benefits and sacrifices (Flint et al., 2002,
Grnroos, 2000) or between quality and sacrifices (Monroe, 1990; Ravald and Grnroos,
1996), which can be divided into financial and psychological sacrifices.
Sacrifices originally included monetary sacrifices, such as those related to price and purchase
costs, but these have been extended to non-monetary price and the risk of poor performance
(Liljander and Strandvik, 1993; Monroe, 1990). However, different definitions of perceived
value seem to offer a variety of meanings (Woodruff, 1997: 141.). These definitions are
developed based on changes surveyed in the consumer's behavior. Cravens and Piercy (2003:
14.) sustain that perceived value consists of benefits and costs resulting from the purchase
and use of products ". Another definition of perceived value is given by (Iglesias and Guillen,
2004: 374) and suggests that this is "an exchange between what is received and what is
given". Keller (1998: 178) believes that "consumers combine perception of quality with
perception of cost in order to reach to an assessment of perceived value. Consumer
perception combine quality with cost perception to arrive at year assessment of the perceived
value ".
Despite different expressions, the common point in these definitions is that consumer
perceived value is a trade-off between benefits and sacrifices perceived by the consumer
when considering a suppliers offering (Ulaga and Chacour, 2001; Woodruff, 1997).
Following Zeithamls (1988) seminal conceptualization of perceived value, researchers have
defined consumer perceived value (CPV) in a variety of ways. The author collected different
definitions given by several authors in order to facilitate the forming of a framework
regarding this concept. These are summarized in the Table 2, entitled Definitions of
consumer perceived value.


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

Table 2. Definition of Consumer Perceived Value
Definition of consumer perceived value


Perceived value is composed of all factors; qualitative and

quantitative, objective and subjective, that jointly form a consumers
buying experience.
Perceived value is the consumer overall assessment of the utility of a
product based on the perceptions of what is received and what is
The mental estimate that consumers make of the travel product,
where perceptions of value are drawn from a personal cost/benefit
A tradeoff between the quality or benefits they perceive in the
product relative to the sacrifice they perceive by paying the price
Perceived customer value = customers perceived benefits
customers perceived cost. That is, perceived customer value is the
surplus (or the difference) between perceived benefits and perceived
Consumer choice is a function of multiple consumption values.
These are functional, social, emotional, epistemic and conditional
value. The consumption values make differential contributions in any
given choice situation. The consumption values are independent
A cognitive trade-off between perceived quality and sacrifice
The notion of value for money refers primarily to the relationship
between price, quality and quantity
Product value to a consumer is a comparison of tangible and
intangible benefits from the generic as well as the supplementary
levels of a product and the total costs of production and usage of a
Perceived level of product quality relative to the price paid
A customer perceived preferences for and evaluation of those
product attributes, attribute performances and consequences arising
from use that facilitate (or block) achieving the customers goal and
purposes in use situations

Schechter, 1984 in
Zeithaml, 1988 (cited in
Snoj et al., 2004: 158)

Value is a positive function of what is received and a negative

function of what is sacrificed
Product value for a consumer is created when the benefits a
consumer gets with a product are greater than the long-term costs a
consumer is expected to have with a product.
Value equals a perceived quality relative to the price

Zeithaml, 1988: 14
Morrison,1989 quoted in
Murphy et al., 2000: 46
Monroe, 1990:46
Day, 1999; Lai, 1995

Seth et al., 1991: 160

Dodds et al. ,1991: 316
Stevens, 1992: 44
Nilson, 1992 (cited in Snoj
et al., 2004: 158)
Fornell et al., 1996: 9
Woodruff, 1997: 142

Oliver, 1999: 45
Slater and Narver, 2000
(cited in Snoj et al., 2004:
Hallowell in Cornin et
al., 2000 (cited in Snoj et
al., 2004: 158)
Chang and Wildt, 1994
quoted in Murphy et al.

Value can be seen as a combination of a products (destinations)

perceived quality and associated price which a visitor will summarize
as the value received
The trade-off between the multiple benefits and sacrifices of a
suppliers offering, as perceived by key decision makers in the
customers organization, and taking into consideration the available Ulaga and Chacour, 2001
alternative suppliers offerings in a specific-use situation (in industrial
The consumers assessment of the value that has been created for Flint et al., 2002: 171
them by a supplier given the trade-off between all relevant benefits (cited in Snoj et al., 2004:
and sacrifices in a specific use situation
(Source: adapted by the author after the references of the paper)

Typical definitions of consumer perceived value rely heavily on terms such as utility, worth,
benefits, and quality, according to what Woodruff (1997) sustains. The comparison between


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

different concepts and definitions is quite difficult, taking into account the fact that the terms
are not well defined. Also, consumer perceived value can be felt differently with each
consumption circumstance, according to the moment of purchase - such as: pre-purchase,
post-purchase, and in use situations (Woodruff, 1997). At the same time, consumer perceived
value can be predicted during the decision making process or actually experienced during the
use process (Woodruff, 1997). Based on these arguments, Woodruff (1997:142) defined
customer value as a customers perceived preference for and evaluation of those product
attributes, attribute performances, and consequences arising from use that facilitates (or
blocks) achieving the customers goals and purposes in use situations. Woodruff (1997)
argues that his definition broadens the consumer perceived value concept by incorporating
both desired and received value and emphasizing that value stems from consumers learned
perceptions, preferences, and evaluations. It also links together products with use situations
and related consequences experienced by goal-oriented customers (Woodruff, 1997:142).
The trade-off definition of perceived value has its roots in economic theory and has strongly
influenced researchers thinking. However, a rational product -and purchase oriented
perspective on consumer perceived value- fails to recognize the irrational and sensory
elements of experiential consumption. Although Woodruff (1997) defined a broader concept
of consumer perceived value, which provides conceptual richness (Parasuraman, 1997), he
still emphasizes rational and goal-oriented consumer behavior that leads to purchase process.
With a broadened view of the consumer behavior, a definition of consumer perceived value
that includes experiential consumption is sorely needed. More recently, however, service
marketing literature has begun to view customer perceived value not just as something that is
produced for customers, but rather as something that relates to 3 customer experience and
value-in-use (Heinonen, 2009; Sandstrm et al., 2008).
2.2. Dimensions of Consumer Perceived Value
In the literature there are two main approaches regarding the conceptualization of perceived
value. The first approach emphasizes perceived value as being divided into two parts: one is
made of benefits (economic, social and relational), and the other one is composed by the
sacrifices made (price, time, effort, risks and opportunities) by the consumers (Grewal et al.,
1998; Cronin et al, 2000). As defined by Zeithaml (1988), perceived value results from the
personal comparison of the benefits obtained and personal sacrifices made after the purchase
act has been done. Therefore, this concept is a very subjective and personal one (Parasuraman
et al., 1985).
Perception contains components related to consumer benefits and sacrifices. On one hand, the
benefit component -what a consumer receives when he/she acquires a product- includes
perceived service quality and psychological benefits (Zeithaml, 1988). Sacrifices, on the other
hand, are both monetary and non-monetary. The latter ones are related to time, energy, effort
and inconvenience. Thus, in order to determine the consumer to purchase particular services
or to buy again specific products, these have to be delivered with value, either by
incorporating benefits or by reducing sacrifices. Sanchez-Fernandez and Iniesta-Bonillo
(2007: 428) note that the concept of customer perceived value has become one of the most
overused and misused concepts in the social sciences in general and in the management
literature in particular. In their recent systematic review of the customer-perceived value
literature, Sanchez-Fernandez and Iniesta-Bonillo (2007) identified two research trajectories.
The first research stream, which is characteristic of earlier studies and widely embraced in the
marketing literature, conceptualizes consumer value as a uni-dimensional construct (e.g.
Monroe, 1979; Zeithaml, 1988; Bolton and Drew, 1991). One-dimensional approach has
negative aspects too: it is perceived as being too "narrow", "arcane" or "simplistic" to what
customers might experience. The second approach is based on a multidimensional approach
in order to build perceived value (Woodruff, 1997; Sweeney and Soutar, 2001; Snchez et el,
2006). This concept includes functional dimension and affective dimension, examining
consumer's purchasing behavior. Functional value is determined by the rational one, too, but


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

also by consumers' economic evaluations and quality of services that form this dimension.
Affective dimension is divided into an emotional and a social dimension.
Sheth (1991) identified five dimensions of the concept of value: social, emotional, functional,
epistemic and conditional.
1. Functional value is defined as the perceived usefulness of the service.
2. Emotional value consists in feelings or affective states generated by consumption
3. The social value is given by the acceptability at the individual level and the relations
with social environment.
4. Epistemic value is given the ability of service to arouse curiosity and to satisfy the
desire for knowledge.
An alternative brand may be chosen to alleviate boredom with an existing brand, to satisfy a
desire to learn or experience something new, or in response to an arousal of interest.
Due to this cognitive-affective multi-dimensional nature of customer perceived value, it is
important to evaluate customer perceived value from the perspective of the individuals
consumption experience. Value is created by the customer based on the value-in-use. While
the firm can create and communicate value propositions, it is the customer, not the firm that
creates value through dynamic situational specific value creating processes (Holbrook, 2006;
Gronroos, 2008).
5. The conditional value relates to situational factors such as the disease or specific
social situations (Sheth et al., 1991).
In a later study of Sweeney and Soutar (2001) were not taken into account the size of
epistemic and conditional dimensions. These authors have reduced the original five
dimensions to three: functional value, social value and emotional value and have elaborated a
scale designed to measure the value; the scale is known as PERVAL scale. Based on the
theoretical framework of Sheth et al. (1991), Sweeney and Soutar (2002) developed PERVAL
scale, which has 19-items and which can be used to assess consumers perceptions of the
value of a consumer durable good at the brand level.
The measurement was developed for use in a retail purchase situation to determine what
consumption values drive purchase attitude and behavior within that environment. The scale
consisted of 19 items that identified four dimensions of CPV. Of these 19 items, five items
assessed the dimension of emotional value, four assessed social value, six assessed
quality/performance value, and four assessed price/value. The scale was found to be valid
and reliable in both pre-purchase and post-purchase situations (Sweeney and Soutar, 2002).
Based on the work of Zeithaml (1988), the authors divided the functional value into of quality
and price. These two different components affect the perceived value of different consumers.
Therefore perceived value scale includes four dimensions: quality of performance, price value for money, emotional value and social value. This scale was tested based on the
perceptions of the consumers of durable goods in a retail purchase. The situation has
determined what values of consume drive attitudes and purchasing behavior. In different
situations of choice researchers can investigate specific consumer decision regarding the
usefulness perceived at a level of choice (to buy or not buy), product level (product A or
product B) or brand level (mark A or B).
Several authors (Snchez et al., 2006) have developed a scale for measuring post-purchase
perceived value, called GLOVAL - in tourism field. This scale consists of six dimensions of
perceived value. Four of them correspond to dimensions of the functional value: functional
value of the establishment, functional value of the contact personnel, functional value of the
service quality and functional value price. The two remaining dimensions refer to the
affective dimension of the perceived value: the emotional and social value (Four of them


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

correspond to functional value: The value of stability, functional value of contact personnel,
the functional quality of service and price as functional value. The two remaining dimensions
refer to the affective dimension of perceived value: emotional and social value). Petrick
(2002), using the theoretical framework of Zeithaml (1988), developed 25 - items to measure
the multi-dimensional scale for consumer Perceived value services.
According to Petrick (2002) the benefits received by consumers when purchasing a product
includes quality, emotional response, reputation obtained by acquiring the service and the
monetary price. The PERVAL SERV scale has been developed Petrick (2002). He
investigated recreational services among American consumers and it has been applied in other
studies too (Petrick, 2004).
The scale was supposed to measure perceived value after completing a purchase and
identified five dimensions of customer perceived value. Of the 25 scale items, four assessed
the dimension of quality value, six assessed perceived monetary price value, and five
each assessed emotional response value, behavior price value, and reputation value.
One cruise passenger sample was used to examine the scales external validity and one
undergraduate student sample was used to examine the dimensionality and internal reliability
of the scale items. The instrument appeared to be reliable and have convergent and
discriminant validity.
As a personal remark, the author of the present paper can affirm that the scale development is
a recent and underdeveloped research direction for the study of consumer perceived value.
Existing measurement scales have not been widely tested for validity and reliability nor have
they been widely utilized by empirical studies. Therefore, have not been identified in the
studied literature a wide-accepted range of measures for evaluating the overall perceived
value or for individual dimensions. Additionally, the developed scale focuses on the
managerial perspective and purchase paradigm of consumer behavior, instead of the overall
consumption experience as perceived by consumers. Other values related to the consumption
experience and personal values relating to consumption are not identified by the existing
As an important thing it should be noted that a measurement scale for consumer perceived
value that incorporates the broader consumption experience (an overall assessment of
consumer perceived value) has not yet been developed. While scales have been developed to
some extent for the various dimensions of consumer perceived value, no researcher has yet
looked across the existing studies on the dimensions to provide a framework organizing and
explaining any appropriate application of the dimensions of consumer perceived value.
The literature shows that -generally- authors use the concept of value as a multidimensional
one, but they also agree that two different dimensions can be distinguished: one of them has a
functional character, while the other one has an emotional or affective nature.
The factors from the functional dimension include the monetary value, versatility (Sweeney et
al., 1999), quality of services (Snchez et al., 2006), non-monetary sacrifices (Sweeney et al.,
1999; Petrick, 2002) and price (Sweeney and Soutar, 2001; Petrick, 2002).
Meanwhile, the affective dimension includes feelings or emotions generated by services
(Table 3 Dimensions of perceived value).


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

Table 3. Dimensions of the Perceived Value


Hedonic value, utilitarian value

Holbrook and Corfman, 1985

Acquisition value, transaction value

Monroe and Chapman, 1987

Functional, emotional, conditional, social, epistemic

Sheth et al., 1991

Tangibles values, intangibles values

Nilson, 1992

Hedonic value, utilitarian value

Babin et al., 1994

Expected value, received value

Kotler et al., 1995

Pre-use value, post-use value

Lovelock, 1996

Benefits (quality, satisfaction and specific benefits), costs (money,

time and effort)

Zeithaml and Bitner, 1996

Emotional or intrinsic value, functional or extrinsic value, logical or

value for money

Woodruff, 1997

Functional, emotional

Gronroos, 1997

Quality, price, acquisition, transaction

Grewal et al., 1998

Efficiency, excellence, play, aesthetics, Status,esteem, ethics,


Holbrook , 1999

Consumption value, extended value

Oliver, 1999

Adquisition value, transaction value, value in-use, redemption



Functional- quality, functional-price, emotional, special PERVAL

Sweeney and Soutar, 2001

Quality, monetary price, behabioral price, emotional, reputation


Petrick, 2002

Active values (efficiency; economic value and enjoyment); Reactive

values (visual attraction; entertainment value and service excellence)

Mathwick et al., 2002

Functional, emotional, social GLOVAL

Sanchez et al, 2006



(Source: adapted by the author after the references of the paper)

More than that, several studies concluded that the quality of services positively affects
perceived value (Cronin et al, 2000; Petrick, 2002; Sanchez, 2006). Also, the relationship
between perceived value and customer satisfaction or future intentions are discussed in the
literature of marketing services. Anderson et al. (1994) states that satisfaction depends of
perceived value and the intentions that a customer has in the future are largely determined by
perceived value.
However Sanchez et al. (2006), Sweeney and Soutar (2001) argue that perceived value is a
positive predictor of consumer satisfaction. Sanchez-Fernandez and Iniesta-Bonillo (2007:
441) call for further academic research "to clarify the nature of the multi-dimensional
construct (customer perceived value) and its constituent dimensions and to develop a
comprehensive and efficacious measurement scale for the concept" (Sanchez-Fernandez and
Iniesta-Bonillo, 2007: 444).
As resulting from the literature, the main majority of the researchers consider consumer
perceived value as being a multidimensional structure. They investigated both similar and
dissimilar dimensions with a focus on consumer products and services (Oliver, 1996, from
Ulaga and Chacour, 2001), as can be seen in Table 4.


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

Table 4. Types of dimensions of consumer perceived value
Four dimensions:
1. Intrinsic attributes
2. Extrinsic attributes
3. Quality
4. Other high level abstractions
5. Price (monetary and nonmonetary)
Five dimensions:
1. Functional value
2. Conditional value
3. Social value
4. Emotional value, and
5. Epistemic value
Two dimensions
1. Acquisition value (AV)
2. Transaction value (TV)

Author (s)

Type of work

Zeithaml, 1988


Sheth, Newman and Gross,



Dodds, Monroe and Grewal,

Grewal, Monroe and Kirshnan,


Four dimensions:
1. Societal value
Kantamneni andCoulson, 1996
2. Experiential value
3. Functional value, and
4. Market value
Four dimensions:
1. Acquisition value
2. Transaction value
Parasuraman and Grewal, 2000
3. In-use value, and
4. Redemption value
Four dimensions:
1. Emotional
Sweeney and Soutar, 2001
2. Social
3. Quality/performance
4. Price/value
Five dimensions:
1. Quality
2. Emotional response
Petrick (2002)
3. Monetary price
4. Behavioral price, and
5. Reputation
(Source: Adapted by the author after the references of the paper)





Value typology was developed extensively by Holbrook (1986), the last one being divided
into conceptual classification. In this framework, consumer value in the consumption
experience is classified into: 1) extrinsic vs. intrinsic, 2) self- vs. other-oriented and 3) active
vs. passive.
Table 5. A Typology of Consumer Value





Efficiency (Convenience)

Play (Fun)


Excellence (Quality)

Esthetics (Beauty)

Impression Morality
Management )
Morality )
Esteem (Reputation, Materialism, Religion
(Source: Holbrook, M.B. (1996). Customer valuea framework for analysis and research. Advances in
Consumer Research, 23: 138-40)


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

Extrinsic value, known as utilitarian value, occurs when consumption is appreciated for its
function and utility. Intrinsic value is also called hedonic value which occurs when the
consumption experience is appreciated as an end in itself, that is, for its own sake (Holbrook,
1986). Value is considered to be an active element when it involves things done/experienced
by an individual, when it entails some physical or mental manipulation of a tangible or
intangible object; also, it is perceived as being a reactive element when it results from the
responds to (the use of) objects - for example, appreciating and comprehending from things
that have been done to/by an individual (Holbrook, 1986). Value is self-oriented when a
consumer appreciates a product or experience for his/her own sake, for how he/she reacts to it
or for the effect it has on him or her. Conversely, other-oriented value looks beyond self to
others such as family, friends, countries and universe.
Other researchers have identified and selected dimensions of consumer perceived value by
interviewing consumers. Sheth et al. (1991) developed a broader theoretical framework of
consumer perceived value.They regarded consumer choice as a function of multiple
consumption value dimensions, and these dimensions make varying contributions in different
choice situations. Also suggested 5 dimensions relating specifically to the perceived utility of
a choice, functional value, social value, emotional value, epistemic value, and conditional
value. Functional value is the perceived utility acquired from an alternatives capacity for
functional, utilitarian, or physical performance; social value is the perceived utility acquired
from an alternatives association with one or more specific social groups; emotional value is
the perceived utility acquired from an alternatives capacity to arouse feelings or affective
states; epistemic value is the perceived utility acquired from an alternatives capacity to
arouse curiosity, provide novelty, and/or satisfy a desire for knowledge; and conditional value
is the perceived utility acquired by an alternative as the result of the specific situation or set of
circumstances facing the choice maker (Sheth et al., 1991).
Table 5. A Typology of Product Benefits


A products capacity for functional, utilitarian, or physical performance.

Perceptual benefits acquired from a products association with social class, social
status, or a specific social group.
Perceptual benefit acquired from a products capacity to arouse feelings or
affective states. They are often associated with cultural ethnic meanings, or
personal, idiosyncratic meanings, tests and memories.
Benefits acquired from a products capacity to satisfy curiosity, provide novelty,
and/or meet a desire for knowledge. The pursuing of these benefits can be seen in
exploratory, novelty-seeking, and variety-seeking consumption behaviors.
Benefits acquired from a products capacity to present a sense of beauty or to
enhance personal expression.
Benefits acquired from a products capacity to meet a need of enjoyment, fun,
pleasure, or distraction from work or anxiety.
Benefits acquired from a products capacity to meet situational needs in specific
Perceptual benefit acquired from the complementarity, coherence, compatibility,
and consistency in a product constellation as a whole.
(Source: Lai, W.A. (1995). Consumer value, product benefits and customer value: a consumption
behavior approach. Advances in Consumer Research, 22:381-388)

Sheth et al. (1991) claim that the theory is applicable to choices involving a full range of
product types, including consumer nondurables, consumer durables, industrial goods, and
services. However, Lai (1995: 383) argues that the consumption values identified by Sheth et
al. (1991) are in fact generic product benefits that a consumer may derive from possession or
consumption, that is, Sheth et al. (1991) conflate product benefits with consumption value.
Lai (1995) proposes a typology of generic product benefits composed of functional benefits,


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

social benefits, affective benefits, epistemic benefits, aesthetic benefits, hedonic benefits,
situational benefits, and holistic benefits.
Dodds, Monroe and Grewal (1991), but also Grewal, Monroe, and Krishnan (1998) presented
two additional dimensions of consumer perceived value, acquisition and transaction value.
Perceived acquisition value is defined as the perceived net gains accrued when products or
services are acquired. In other words, a products perceived acquisition value is positively
influenced by the benefits consumers believe they gain by acquiring and using the product
and negatively affected by the costs associated with the product (Grewal et al., 1998).
Perceived transaction value is defined as the perception of psychological satisfaction or
pleasure gained from getting a deal (Grewal et al., 1998).
According to Petrick (2002), Kantamneni and Coulson (1996), they have identified four
dimensions of a products perceived value: societal value, experiential value, functional value
and market value.
societal value is the products benefit/value to society;

experiential value is value related to senses (the feel, smells, and looks of a product);

functional value is related to whether or not the product is reliable and safe;

market value is the products value in regards to price (Petrick, 2002).

Parasuraman and Grewal (2000) conceptualized consumer perceived value as a dynamic

construct consisting of four value types, acquisition value, transaction value, in-use value and
redemption value. By definition, acquisition value is the benefits received for the monetary
price given; transaction value is the pleasure the consumer receives for getting a good deal;
in-use value is the utility derived from utilization of the product/service; and redemption
value is the residual benefit received at the time of trade-in or at the end of the product life or
termination of services (Parasuraman and Grewal, 2000). The relevance of each of the four
dimensions varies along the product/service life. Acquisition and transaction value are most
salient during purchase, while in-use value and redemption value are dominant after the
purchase (Parasuraman and Grewal, 2000).
Sweeney and Soutar(2001), based on the theoretical work of Sheth et al. (1991) established
four dimensions for durable goods, such as quality/performance, emotional value, price, and
social value. Sweeney and Soutar (2001) argue that price and quality are sub-dimensions of
the functional value proposed by Sheth et al. (1991), and these dimensions contribute
separately to perceived value. Epistemic value was dropped by Sweeney and Soutar (2001)
through the exploratory study, because none of the items generated were judged to reflect this
dimension. However, epistemic value might be particularly important for experiential services
such as holidays, adventures, or even shopping trips (Sheth et al., 1991). Conditional value
was also dropped, because it can be described as a specific case of other types of value
(Sweeney and Soutar, 2001).
Following the theoretical model developed by Zeithaml (1988), Petrick (2002: 123) proposed
that the value dimensions received from the purchase of a service include the emotional
response to the service, the quality received from the service, and the reputation of the service
rendered, while the dimensions related to what is given include monetary and non-monetary
(behavioral) price. So, CPV has five dimensions, quality, emotional response, monetary price,
behavioral price, and reputation.
A review of the study of CPV reveals that existing studies have been overwhelmingly
influenced by the conceptual frameworks developed by Zeithaml (1988), Sheth et al. (1991)
and Grewal et al. (1998). Zeithaml (1988) established the economic exchange concept of
CPV; Sheth et al. (1991) broadened the dimensions of CPV to include perspectives other than
economic exchange theory; and Grewal et al. (1998) presented two dimensions of CPV from
the process view. It should be noted that the study of CPV has been based largely on studies
that considered a limited number of products or product concepts, primarily physical goods


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

with higher price points and with specific brand names. Furthermore, despite the consumer
label, much of CPV has focused on products and purchase from a managerial perspective. No
research exists that explores the dimensions of CPV from the perspective of the consumer and
the consumption experience.
2.3. Desired Customer Value
There is mentioned in the literature that customers differentiate between perceived value
(PCV) and desired value (DCV) (Flint et al., 2002; Bagozzi, 1999; Holbrook, 1994; Richins,
Perceived customer value focuses on the assessment of specific benefits and sacrifices, while
the desired customer value focuses on the customers needs and desires and, thus, involves a
higher level of abstraction on the customers part. Desired customer value is independent of
use-specific experience and more enduring than perceived customer value (Flint et al., 1997).
Desired customer value research seeks to explain what needs, desires, and values
(dimensions) customers seek to fulfil by buying and/or using a certain product or service.
Also, in this regard, the desired customer value (DCV) is conceptualized as a part of the
customers' value system. The focus of desired customer value desired customer value is on
abstract value dimensions, or consequences, derived from specific performance characteristics
(see Holbrook, 1994; Woodruff, 1997).
In contrast to desired customer value approaches, which explore generic value dimensions
and focus on individuals, Ulaga (2003) focuses on value dimensions in a Business-toBusiness (B2B) context. Based on a qualitative approach, he identified eight dimensions of
value creation in manufacturer-provider relationships: product quality, service support,
delivery, know-how provider, time to market, personal interaction, direct product costs, and
process costs. The goal of this strand of research is to develop a practice-oriented customer
concept having a special emphasis on relational aspects.
3. Conclusions and limitations
Analyzing and researching customer value seen different from author to author streams,
finally has been showed that customer value is a unique, independent area of research that can
make a valuable contribution to better understanding customer needs, decisions, and
behavior, as well as aiding in better or more accurate management decisions. Consumption
value is a judgment of receipts compared to sacrifices. This form of value takes on greater
meaning when the receipts numerator is expanded to include the many types of valued
consumption outcomes, including excellence, as presented in the Holbrook typology. Value,
then, becomes an input to the satisfaction response which is impacted by quality directly and
indirectly through value. Consumers may derive subsequent personal/value from satisfaction,
although more conclusive evidence on this latter point awaits investigation
The value plays a major and increasing role not only in consumers life, and in businesses and
marketers too (Dodds, 1991). From the consumers point of view, obtaining value is a
fundamental shopping goal and pivotal to all successful exchange transactions (Holbrook,
1994). From the business perspective, Woodruff (1997) suggests that creating consumer value
will increasingly become the critical source of competitive advantage for companies,
replacing the quality management paradigm. Even more broadly, value has been called the
basis for all marketing activity (Holbrook, 1994). Consumer perceived value is a trade-off
between benefits and sacrifices perceived by the consumer when considering a suppliers
offering (Ulage and Chacour, 2001; Woodruff, 1997).
One of the main ideas stated in all marketing books is our customer, our master, and it
should be taken into account when delivering the value expected by the consumer. In order to
deliver the desired perceived value to the consumers you serve, you have to identify and
respond to the needs of your clients and to accomplish their desires. That is how you gain a


International Conference Marketing from information to decision 6th Edition 2013

satisfied customer, who will recommend you to his friends and acquaintances. Such an
examination is important as customer perceived value and the meanings of particular products
and service experiences are no longer fixed and linked to product and service attributes and
characteristics (Levy, 2006) rather they are free-floating as each individual customer
derives her or his personally perceived meanings based on his or her experiences (Brown,
2006; Firat and Dholakia 2006; Simmons, 2008). Customer value is an important concept in
marketing and is an effective medium to understand customers (Durgee et al., 1996).
An overview of the literature reveals that most research on perceived value has focused on
definitions and operationalization of the concept (Woodruff and Flint, 2006). There are two
approaches to the definition and operationalization of value. First, value is conceptualized as a
uni-dimensional construct that can be measured by a self-reported item (or set of items) that
evaluates the consumers perception of value (e.g. Sweeney et al., 1999) and the second is
multi-dimensional construct.
To gain a better understanding of the consumer construct and its relationships with other
constructs, a comprehensive conceptualization that includes various multifaceted perspectives
is required. In addition to different levels of abstraction (perceived consumer value, desired
consumer value, and personal values), it is necessary to more strongly emphasize individual
customer experience and learning effects.
The knowledge that arises from this research is expected to have both managerial and
academic relevance. In understanding the types of value that dominate different stages and
contexts, organizations could fine tune their offerings to increase value whilst removing
unnecessary costs. Most authors have viewed value as the outcome of a trade-off between a
single "overall quality" construct and sacrifice. However, these results suggest that the
customer's value function is more complex.
Like any research, the present study bears some limits such as an extensive bibliography
which leads to the impossibility of studying in detail all the concepts. Another limitation
regarding the study is the absence of a calitative research concerning the problem in
discussion. It would be very helpful to combine theorethical approach regarding the perceived
value of consumers with a practical researh that would confirm or infirm academic
suppositions. Further research is needed to explore the antecedents of customer satisfaction,
service quality and service value.
In conclusion, perceived value is subjective, it differs from consumer to consumer. It is a
holistic concept composed by different dimensions that influence each other. Thus is very
important to understand the manner in wich a consumer perceives value, its dimensions, in
order to be able to overcome his/her expectations.

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Discussant: Professor Ioan PLIA, PhD., Babe-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca


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