Post-purchase disadvantages of a less preferred brand and how they can be overcome: an examination of regret and attribution


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wujin Chu, Seoul National University, College of Business Administration, SK Bldg. Room 302, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 151-916, Korea. E-mail:


This research examines the post-purchase experience after choosing the most preferred brand versus a less preferred brand. When they experience positive product outcomes, those who chose their most preferred brand tend to give credit to the brand, whereas those who chose a less preferred brand attribute it to their smart choice. In contrast, with negative outcomes, those with the most preferred brand place the blame on themselves, whereas those with a less preferred brand blame the brand. Nevertheless, a silver lining emerges when brand attribution and satisfaction increase to the level of the most preferred brand after two consecutive positive experiences with a less preferred brand. Repeated positive experience could turn people's attention to more on good product quality of a less preferred brand than on cheaper price.