Brand experiential value scales for limited -service hotels
The hospitality industry in the United States is transforming. There is an emerging class of American consumers eager to express themselves in their use of lodging products and services. The new generation of American consumers desire renaissance of self expression when choosing a place to stay. They look for those hotel brands that are aligned with their self-image and bond with those with which they find an emotional association. The experiential value scale (EVS) refers to a consumer's beliefs about her or his likes and preferences when experiencing a product or a service. Previous research suggests that EVS beliefs play an important role in consumer preference, recommendation to others, and future patronage. Despite the potential impact of EVS beliefs on hotel business, few empirically tested instruments are currently available to assess this construct among hotel guests. The purpose of this research was to develop and evaluate the underlying structure and initial psychometric properties of a newly developed instrument, the brand EVS. Development and testing of the instrument occurred in four research phases: (1) a literature review; (2) in-depth interviews with hotel executives (n=15) and expert review of the instrument (n=18); (3) pilot testing of preliminary items (n=120); and (4) final scale administration to examine main research questions (n=350). Exploratory factor analysis was used to test the factor structure of the EVS and examine whether it captured aspects of hotel guests' beliefs that differed from existing measures. Initial psychometric properties of the EVS were evaluated. Factor analysis demonstrated the importance of many of the experiential value items arranged across eight experiential dimensions of hotel guests' beliefs. Initial psychometric properties of the EVS, including internal consistency reliability and construct validity, were satisfactory. As predicted, customers who reported higher experiential beliefs also reported significantly higher brand attitude and more positive behaviors. The initial development of the EVS instrument offers a promising first step in the scale development process. It is left to future research to refine the EVS and establish its factor structure and psychometric properties using a larger, more representative sample. The findings have significant implications for the hotel industry, particularly in today's highly competitive business environment. American consumers are evolving to the stage of seeking self-expressions in their consumption and they desire services that provide experiential values with personal resonance. This study's EVS serves the needs of hotel brands when faced with this new culture of consumers. It defines parameters to help guide hotel companies as they design unique and memorable lodging experiences.
Cai, Purdue University.
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