Purpose: This paper aims to address the role of product involvement in the brand preference formation of men and women. Product involvement can be defined as a consumer’s motivation for product purchase that affects their information processing strategies when forming a brand preference (e.g. more automatic at low levels vs more deliberative at high levels). Given that gender differences are found to be context-dependent, it was expected that, when forming a single brand preference, men would emphasize instrumental aspects (functional and socially conspicuous utilities) and women the experiential utility of the brand only with high-involvement-level products. Design/methodology/approach: A descriptive survey (n = 459) using structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis was used following an online experiment where involvement level was manipulated (n = 255) to validate the results. Findings: Stereotypical gender differences appeared at high, but not low-involvement levels. Theoretically, these findings question the evolutionary basis of gender differences, as differences were not consistent at both levels. Practical implications: The findings raise questions about the efficacy of segmenting by gender when aiming to increase brand preference of low-involvement products, whereas stereotypical targeting seem to be effective for increasing preference for high-involvement ones. Originality/value: For the first time, the role of product involvement and gender was examined in brand preference formation. This can theoretically clarify whether gender differences are consistent or dependent on the level of involvement. This information can help in designing efficient marketing strategies for products with different involvement levels.
- Brand preference
- Gender differences
- Level of product involvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management of Technology and Innovation