Several theories are related to the study at hand. The quality of bread is the focus of this study. The following theories are reviewed in order to know the best one that suits the topic of this study.
Shapiro has initiated a series of models and revisions on quality perception. One of the first models that was formulated on how customers perceive quality was developed. It reveals the underlying logic behind consumers’ purchase and attitude towards cost. The theory surmises that the customer will buy something based on his understanding of what a quality product is. A customer defines a product’s worth by its quality and its price. It demonstrates that demographics and personality traits influence how a person would attribute monetary value to a particular product. This is called the subjective cost. Another factor that would influence price attitude is the customer’s previous shopping experience. This would then generate an expected price. Both of these would influence the customer’s price attitude. On the other hand, obvious tangible attributes and the actual price of the product would influence the customer’s perceived quality. Price attitude and perceived quality are the main variables that influence the likelihood that the customer is going to buy the product (Shapiro, 1970). The following is a visual representation of the theory: [pic]
The theory would be useful to the study at hand by giving a framework on how two different variables of worth and likelihood of purchase would be related. The worth of the donuts is directly influenced by a customer’s behavior towards prices and his perception towards quality. This study focuses on the quality of the bread that is used in the process of making donuts. The customers can be characterized according to observations during store purchases. Assumptions can be made based on indicators of social and economic status, environment and location.
The model that Steenkamp developed was based on Olson’s work, giving distinct qualities to quality cues and quality traits. Quality cues are perceived by a consumer prior to consumption of the product. They are experienced by the five senses, but the cues are assumptions that the customer makes even without consuming it yet. They are also what the customer desires to have in purchasing a certain product. Quality attributes are those that the customer actually experiences upon consumption of the product. These are his observations upon for instance, eating a piece of donut or drinking a cup of tea. The quality cues are simply what the consumer wants and the attributes are what he experiences during consumption of the product (Steenkamp E. , 2010).
The following diagram illustrates the different factors that contribute to perceived quality according to the Steenkamp Model:
Personal Factors include motivation, educational level, prior experience, perceived quality risk and quality consciousness. All of these have some effect on the customer’s perception of a product. Intrinsic and extrinsic quality cue beliefs are similar in their definitions to those given by Olson.
We can try to illustrate the usefulness of this theory by taking the perspective of a donut customer. A customer who had eaten from different donut brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Mister Donut will most likely be from an educated class, considering the wide range of donut prices among these stores. He will have all of the personal factors described above and thus may give a comprehensive quality perception than someone who has not eaten from, say, a donut brand that this particular customer had already experienced eating from. A customer who is able to perceive these cues and attributes well may also give good judgment on the main attribute that this study is focused on, which is the quality of donut bread....