Optimum stimulation level and means-end hierarchies


The main objectives of this article are twofold: first, to illustrate the full range of potentialities of this new approach regarding consumers' segmentation, product positioning and advertising strategies; second, to highlight the close connections of means-end hierarchies with the optimum stimulation level (OSL) concept recently discussed in the academic literature. With respect to these two main research objectives, the analysis is conducted using a structural equation modeling approach which enables the researcher to have a powerful analysis of the causal relationships involved in the means-end hierarchies. The analysis shows the importance of consequences and to a lesser extent attributes, OSL and values for characterizing the nature of the choice of a vacation abroad. Besides, OSL allows for the determination of specific OSL segments bearing specific means-end hierarchies which help understanding the behavior under study. The main implications of this research concern consumers' segmentation, product positioning and advertising strategies.

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