Rachel V. McClary
A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
© Rachel McClary, 2006
AN EVAULATION OF CONSUMER BUYING CRITERIA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE PURCHASE OF COMMODITIZED LAPTOPS
Rachel V. McClary
has been approved
JIM MIRABELLA, D.B.A, Faculty Mentor and Chair
RICHARD MURPHY, Ph.D., Committee Member
ELAINE GUERRAZZI, Ph.D., Committee Member
ACCEPTED AND SIGNED:
JIM MIRABELLA, D.B.A.
Kurt Linberg, Ph.D.
Executive Director, School of Business & Technology
Laptop vendors are constantly looking for new ways to differentiate themselves. The commodization of this market precipitates a deeper view into what drives a consumer purchase of one brand over another. Do certain demographic profiles exist that are more likely to purchase a particular brand? Do certain product or brand attributes serve as the final decision criteria in the purchase process? What is compelling between laptop brands to drive selection? Results support the premise that relationships exist and that consumers are more likely to purchase one brand over another based on age, education level, gender or technical competence. The likely selection of a laptop brand can also be associated with a particular product or brand attribute.
A better understanding of the laptop consumer enhances a vendor’s ability to properly segment and market the message to the right audience, increasing the likelihood of purchase. Implications for laptop vendors and recommendations for them as well as future research are presented.
To Stephen, whose commitment and dedication to this journey was equal if not sometimes greater than my own. To Olivia and Elle, may this serve in later years as evidence that anything can be achieved if you work hard.
To committee members, Dr. Dick Murphy and Dr. Elaine Guerazzi, thank you for your careful guidance and direction from the first proposal to the final submission. Your contributions were appreciated and made this final product what it is.
An unparalleled gratitude must be extended to my Mentor, Dr. Jim Mirabella, whose tireless commitment, support and confidence given to me throughout the process cannot go unrecognized. I only hope that I can demonstrate the passion and dedication to students he so easily does.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
Introduction to the Problem
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Definition of Terms
Organization of the Remainder of the Study
CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Decision Making Theory
Consumer Choice Through Decision Making
Attributes as Influencers to Purchase
Brand Equity Definitions
Application to High Tech
CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY
Design of the Study
Study of the Population and Sample
Research Questions and Hypotheses
Data Analysis Procedures
Assumptions and Limitations
CHAPTER 4. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
CHAPTER 5. RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Research Questions
Recommendations for Laptop Vendors
Recommendations for Future Research