Looks Clear and Sounds Familiar: How Consumers Form Inferential Beliefs About Luxury Hotel Service Quality

Sann Ryu, Yun Na Park, Jungkun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine how varying levels of brand familiarity and photographic image quality of hotel pictures influence consumers’ perceptions about luxury hotel services and attitudinal responses and whether their visual aesthetic experience and inferential beliefs about service quality can mediate such effects. This is a 2 (brand familiarity: familiar vs. unfamiliar brand) × 2 (image quality: high vs. low image resolution) factorial design randomized experiment and the proposed model was tested using a structural equation model (N = 430). The proposed model was confirmed that consumers viewed the visual appearance of a hotel suite room (varying in image quality) and brand name (varying in brand familiarity), experienced processing fluency, drew inferential beliefs (about tangible and intangible service quality), formed attitudes toward the brand, and purchase intentions. The study presents an explanatory framework that delineates how varying hotel-related cues in an online setting can shape consumers’ perceptions and judgments of a luxury hotel brand. To one’s best knowledge, no research has examined the impact of both brand familiarity and photographic image quality of a hotel room. More importantly, this study reveals to what extent consumers’ inferential beliefs about service quality can be influenced by the heuristic cues and provides direct evidence for the mediating role of processing fluency and aesthetic appreciation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • brand familiarity
  • image quality
  • inferential beliefs
  • processing fluency
  • service quality
  • visual aesthetic appreciation

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