How scarcity messages influence consumers’ willingness to pay
: the mediation effect of perceived exclusivity

  • Carolina Martins Leitão Pardal Monteiro (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Scarcity messages are marketing strategies known to leverage businesses’ sales and profits. Common well-known types are limited, special and seasonal editions, usually associated with the luxury industry. In consumers’ minds, the high prices are justified by the hedonic feelings they generate. In a FMCG context, the purpose of this investigation is to understand how scarcity messages influence consumers’ willingness to pay, considering the mediated effect of perceived exclusivity on this relationship. The research approach started by a focus group, whose findings allowed to choose the chocolate industry as the center of this investigation, as well as the creation and confirmation of four stimuli representing limited, special, seasonal and regular edition chocolates of an imaginary brand, “Fenice”. Followingly, the main study resided on an online survey to gather data from a wider sample, from which a quantitative analysis was executed using IBM SPSS Statistics. The findings show scarcity messages increase consumers’ willingness to pay, with limited editions having the highest impact, followed by regular, special and seasonal editions. Additionally, it was also concluded that perceived exclusivity has a positive effect on the relationship between scarcity messages and willingness to pay. As for future research, seasonal editions could be explored in further detail, as well as their impact on consumers’ willingness to pay.
Date of Award3 Feb 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Romeiro (Supervisor)


  • Scarcity messages
  • Consumers’ willingness to pay
  • Perceived exclusivity
  • Special editions
  • Seasonal editions
  • Regular editions
  • Chocolate industry


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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