Definitions of perceived value

Researchers used different terms to define the construct of perceived value, although most of them meant the same concept (Woodruff 1997). Based on ninety marketing-related articles, Woodall (2003) found eighteen different names for the value consumers derive from buying and using the product. The most commonly used marketing terms of value:

  • perceived value (e.g. Chang and Wildt 1994; Dodds et al. 1991; Monroe 1990),
  • customer value (e.g. Anderson and Narus 1998; Dodds 1999; Holbrook 1994; 1996; Oh 2000; Woodruff 1997),
  • value (Berry and Yadav 1996; De Ruyter et al. 1997; Ostrom and Iacobucci 1995)
  • value for money (Sirohi et al. 1998; Sweeney et al. 1999).

Less frequently used value terms are:

  • value for the customer (e.g. Reichheld 1996),
  • value for customers (e.g. Treacy and Wiersema 1993),
  • customer perceived value (e.g. Grönroos 1997),
  • perceived customer value (Chen and Dubinsky 2003; Lai 1995),
  • consumer value (e.g. Holbrook 1999),
  • consumption value (Sheth, Newman and Gross 1991),
  • buyer value (e.g. Slater and Narver 1994),
  • service value (e.g. Bolton and Drew 1991),
  • acquisition and transaction value (Grewal et al. 1998; Parasuraman and Grewal 2000),
  • net customer value (e.g. Butz and Goodstein 1996),
  • perceived service value (LeBlanc and Nguyen 2001),
  • consumer surplus (e.g. Brynjolfsson et al. 2003)
  • expected value (Huber et al. 1997).

There are a number of perceived value definitions that have been used in the literature;

  • Chen and Dubinsky (2003, p. 326)
    • a consumer’s perception of the net benefits gained in exchange for the costs incurred in obtaining the desired benefits
  • Holbrook (1994, p. 27)
    • an interactive relativistic consumption preference experience
  • Monroe (1990, p. 46)
    • a tradeoff between the quality or benefits they perceive in the product relative to the sacrifice they perceive by paying the price
  • Spreng, Dixon and Olshavsky (1993, p. 51)
    • a consumer’s anticipation about the outcome of purchasing a product or service based on future benefits and sacrifices
  • Schechter (1984), cited in Zeithaml (1988)
    • all factors, both qualitative and quantitative, subjective and objective, that make up the complete shopping experience
  • Sirohi, McLaughlin and Wittink (1998, p. 228)
    • what you [consumer] get for what you pay
  • Woodall (2003, p. 21)
    • any demand-side, personal perception of advantage arising out of a customer’s association with an organization’s offering, and can occur as reduction in sacrifice; presence of benefit (perceived as either attributes or outcomes); the resultant of any weighted combination of sacrifice and benefit (determined and expressed either rationally or intuitively); or an aggregation, over time, of any or all of these.
  • Woodruff (1997, p. 142)
    • a customer’s perceived preference for and evaluation of those product attributes, attribute performances, and consequences arising from use that facilitate (or block) achieving the customer’s goal and purposes in use situations
  • Woodruff and Gardial (1996: p. 20)
    • a customer’s perceived perception of what they want to happen in a specific use situation, with the help of a product and service ordering, in order to accomplish a desired purpose or goal
  • Zeithaml (1988, p. 14)
    • a consumer’s overall assessment of the utility of a product based on perceptions of what is received and what is given.

Despite the varying terms and definitions, the following commonalities among these definitions stand out:

  1. Perceived value is inherent in or linked through the use to some product, service or object,
  2. Perceived value is something perceived by consumers rather than objectively determined,
  3. Perceptions of value typically involve a tradeoff between what the consumer receives and what he or she gives up to acquire and use a product or service (Woodruff 1997).