Consumers often have to create consideration sets when purchasing goals are not well defined. In these situations, the contents of a consideration set depend on a combination of two motives. First, consumers prefer to create a consideration set of easy‐to‐compare alternatives. It is easier to compare alternatives that have alignable attributes or alternatives that have overlapping features. Second, consumers prefer to create consideration sets that have a high likelihood of containing their optimal alternative. For example, when the set of available alternatives requires the consumer to make trade‐offs between benefits (i.e., to be compensatory), the consumer often delays making a decision about which benefits are preferable, and the consideration set tends to contain a more diverse set of alternatives. We document several factors that influence the relative importance of one or the other motive in consideration set formation and discuss implications for brand managers
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