The primary focus of this research is to develop a conceptual framework for analyzing the process by which consumers evaluate brand quality based on multiple cues. The representative design nature of this theory provides a strong analytical foundation for comparing the use of hierarchical versus nonhierarchical heuristics by consumers in making overall brand evaluations It also enables the modeling of individual differences among consumers in their choice of heuristics to evaluate brands. Results of an illustrative experimental investigation show that hierarchical heuristics are as effective as nonhierarchical, or full-profile, heuristics. It is also shown that brand evaluation heuristics can be broken down into an intuitive (nonlinear) component and a rule-bound (linear) component. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.