Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Collier, Joel E.

Committee Member

Lueg, Jason E.

Committee Member

Sinclar, H. Colleen.

Committee Member

Shanahan, Kevin.

Committee Member

Ponder, Nicole.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Business


Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law


Experiential purchases represent a unique, and exceedingly popular, type of marketing behavior. The current research looks to explore and empirically uncover the dimensions that form, and outputs the stem from, high quality experiential purchases through inductive, qualitative analysis ultimately leading to quantitative testing of an original empirical model. Three studies are presented. In Study 1, depth interviews are conducted and emerging themes are coded using an established grounded theory design. In Study 2, a critical incident survey, constructed from the insight uncovered in Study 1, is administered, analyzed and coded. Finally, in Study 3, an empirical model of experiential purchase quality (EPQ), driven by Study 1 and 2, is assembled and hypotheses, guided by self-enhancement theory are constructed. The model is then tested across three different experiential time horizons. In addition, a multi-group analysis is performed in order to examine differences in structural relationships across the time horizons. This research offers insight into the value sources of experiential purchase quality and the outcomes that stem from these unique types of purchases. Dimensions of experiential purchase quality are identified and empirically examined. It is also determined that while social congruence with others adds to experiential quality in longer experiences, it is not a significant dimension of experiential quality in shorter experiences. The impact of servicescape quality on experiential purchase quality is at its highest in two-to-three day experiences, suggesting that high quality servicescape management may have limited returns for longer experiences. In terms of experiential outputs, self-attachment in high-quality experiential purchases drives the behavior stemming from these purchases. One of the most enlightening findings revealed through this research is the strong relationship between experiential purchase quality and nostalgic memories of the experience, and how that nostalgia drives behaviors beneficial to the experiential firm. Finally, fantasizing about the experience in the future is seen as a complex construct that drives positive outcomes for the firm, but is itself negatively impacted by experiential purchase quality. Managers of experiential firms may be able to operationalize this self-attachment through promotional efforts directed at customer engagement and by focusing on the customer’s nostalgia toward the experience.