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Does Objective and Subjective Knowledge Vary between Opinion Leaders and Opinion Seekers?: Implications for Wine Marketing
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial marketing. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8464-6022
Simon Fraser University.
University of Malta.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Wine Research, ISSN 0957-1264, E-ISSN 1469-9672, Vol. 26, no 04, 306-320 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wine is a heterogeneous, information-rich offering, with a plethora of brands in the market.  Knowledge of wines amidst such diversity understandably varies.  In addition, some offer opinions on wine while others seek them.  Yet the interplay between opinion leadership and opinion seeking on the one hand, and wine knowledge, both objective and subjective, has received little attention by wine marketing researchers.  Thus, this paper explores the relationships between opinion leadership and opinion seeking among wine consumers, and investigates whether objective and subjective knowledge varies between opinion leaders and seekers.  An online survey was used to collect data on the four constructs and correlation analysis was undertaken to investigate the relationships between them.  Key findings indicate that those who tend to seek opinions about wine tend not to have high objective knowledge of wine, as may be expected.  On the other hand, opinion leaders think that they know about wine, and generally are objectively knowledgeable.  Thus, their influence on others is not only based on communication, but on fact, representing a valuable source of influence for wine marketers.  Understanding target consumers’ wine knowledge levels can potentially impact every aspect of wine marketing strategy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015. Vol. 26, no 04, 306-320 p.
Keyword [en]
wine, subjective knowledge, objective knowledge, opinion leadership, opinion seeking
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-177294DOI: 10.1080/09571264.2015.1092120ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84947035699OAI: diva2:872142

QC 20151203

Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-11-18 Last updated: 2015-12-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Consumer knowledge and its implications for aspects of consumer purchasing behaviour in the case of information-intensive products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consumer knowledge and its implications for aspects of consumer purchasing behaviour in the case of information-intensive products
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this research was to better understand consumer knowledge, its constituents, antecedents and consequences or implications for other consumer behaviours so as to assist wine marketers and marketers of other information-intensive products with their marketing strategy development.  Wine is a complex product difficult for consumers to evaluate particularly prior to purchase but it is also a difficult product for marketers.  Wine has a very large number of both intrinsic and extrinsic attributes.  As a result of the numerous attributes and the multitude of combinations of these attributes there is a plethora of wine brands available making for a highly competitive industry and a complicated product for consumers.   

Consumer knowledge affects all aspects of consumer purchasing behaviour and is thus an important phenomenon for marketers to research and understand.  Consumer knowledge also affects all aspects of the marketing strategy developed to satisfy target segments.  Marketing decision makers need to understand consumers to be able to analyze and profile segments, choose target markets and develop marketing strategies that will best align with those target markets.  Calls particularly for better understanding of different segments within the wine market provide justification for this research.

The research problem was divided into three components: Consumer wine knowledge constituents, Antecedents of consumer wine knowledge and the Implications of consumer wine knowledge.  The latter component of the research problem explored the implications of consumer wine knowledge for segmentation, as well as the relationships between consumer wine knowledge and exploratory purchasing behaviour, variety-seeking behaviour and opinion leadership and opinion-seeking behaviours. 

This study provides evidence of the existence of two distinct constituents of consumer knowledge i.e. what consumers know (objective knowledge) and what they think they know (subjective knowledge) and these constituents in the context of wine are significantly related.  However it is also clear that these constituents are significantly different, with different antecedents and implications for other consumer behaviours.  This study provides a visual depiction of a simplistic nomological map developed for the construct of consumer knowledge based on the studies reported in this thesis in the context of an information-intensive product such as wine.  Objective knowledge is largely driven by demographic antecedents, specifically age, gender and education while subjective knowledge is mostly driven by, or affected by consumption.  On the implications side of the map, objective knowledge significantly positively correlates with exploratory acquisition, and opinion leadership while subjective knowledge is positively related to opinion leadership and negatively to opinion-seeking behaviours.  Theoretical implications as well as recommendations for wine marketers and researchers are provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 380 p.
TRITA-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; R-2015:06-SE
Consumer knowledge, Objective knowledge, Subjective knowledge, Opinion leadership, Exploratory acquisition, Variety-seeking behaviour, Wine, Information-intensive products
National Category
Economics and Business
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-177297 (URN)978-91-7595-762-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-01-25, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)

QC 20151217

Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-11-18 Last updated: 2015-12-17Bibliographically approved

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