Services advertising effectiveness: an investigation into means-end chain connectivity and consumer visualisation of services

Leong, Vai Shiem (2009) Services advertising effectiveness: an investigation into means-end chain connectivity and consumer visualisation of services. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The services advertising literature has called for additional studies of the type of tangible cues and advertising appeal that reduce the intangibility of services. This research proposes that the display of service attributes, as tangible cues, that consumers can easily link to personal values in services advertising messages may enable consumers to mentally visualise a service’s benefits, and thus facilitate the evaluation process. The study draws on principles of the means-end chain and Berry and Clark’s (1986) recommendations for tangibilising services during advertising. Together these perspectives lead to the proposition that advertising messages reflecting important personal values enhance perceptions of tangibility (visualisation strategy) and lead to more positive consumer attitudes.

Financial services were chosen as the service category because they are characterised by a high degree of intangibility. In an experimental study involving fictitious bank ads resembling magazine advertisements, participants were allocated to one of eight treatment groups created by manipulating type of product, type of appeal and type of service provider. A total of 468 questionnaires were collected, and tests were carried out using multivariate analysis of covariance and structural equation modelling. Findings supported the proposed conceptualisation, indicating that when consumers are able to make means-end linkages between physical representations of tangible cues and personal values satisfied by the service, there is a positive impact on perceived tangibility, attitude towards the advertisement and attitude towards the brand. The main theoretical contribution of this research to the knowledge base is that the study demonstrated that perceived tangibility and advertising effectiveness were enhanced by activating personal values important to consumers, which facilitate consumers’ visualisation and evaluation of service-related benefits. Understanding how consumers mentally linked the different means-end elements stimulated from tangible cues in advertisements will help managers of service firms develop more effective advertising strategies to create the desired brand image.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Ennew, C.T.
Hibbert, S.A.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HF Commerce
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 10815
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2009 12:45
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 06:03

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