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|Titolo:||Does exposure to concept products affect consumer judgment of marketed products?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Autori interni:||SCOPELLITI, IRENE|
|Autori:||I. Scopelliti; P. Cillo; D. Mazursky|
|Titolo del libro:||Does exposure to concept products affect consumer judgment of marketed products?|
|Abstract:||In some industries, it is a common practice to develop concept products, i.e., prototypes that are very advanced both in terms of technical functionalities and of innovativess of their design. These prototypes are usually exhibited at trade shows and at industry events, and typically anticipate the launch of marketed products with similar features. Concept products, however, often feature technical functionalities so innovative, that are difficult to implement on large scale production, and are usually characterized by an very innovative design, often too futuristic to be featured by marketed products without substantial adaptations. By means of theories on the effects of exaggeration and on structural alignment, we argue that exposure to the design and to the functionalities of concept products may have an impact on consumer evaluation of marketed products. Specifically, we predict a positive effect of exposure to a visually exaggerated concept product on judgment of the marketed product (H1): when a novel design is preceded by exposure to its exaggerated form (i.e., the concept product), exaggeration attracts subjects‘ attention to the distinctive features of the design more than in the case of exposure to a non-exaggerated exemplar (Rhodes, Brennan and Carey 1987; Mauro and Kubovy 1992; Rhodes and Tremewan 1996). In addition, the emphasis on the distinctive features of the design provided by exaggeration is feasible to leave a stronger trace in implicit memory. This trace may eventually enhance the fluency in processing those features when other exemplars developed along the same design structure are encountered, thereby improving their evaluation (Reber et al. 1998). We expect, however, functional exaggeration of the concept product to moderate such effect (H2): On the one hand, exposure to an exemplar featuring very high (extreme) levels of performance on a given functional feature may set a standard for the judgment of other exemplars on that same feature, causing a contrast effect that hurts the judgment of other, less performing, exemplars (Herr, Sherman and Fazio 1983; Herr 1986). On the other hand, however, the occurrence of such contrast effect is contingent upon the degree of context-target similarity, i.e., should occur only in case both the prime (concept product) and target (marketed product) are judged as belonging to the same category (Stapel and Winkielman 1998). An exaggerated design (high visual exaggeration) may favor the perception of the concept product as less thematically or temporally related to the marketed product, thus reducing the likelihood of the occurrence of a contrast effect . Concept products may feature different degrees of visual and functional alignment with their respective marketed versions. For instance, companies may invest in developing and promoting a very advanced technological feature within a concept project, but then implement and promote different features in the marketed product. Similarly, companies can develop very innovative and futuristic designs for their concept products, but then design the actually marketed products as less disruptive. We argue that the visual alignment between the concept product and the marketed product influences negatively the judgment of the marketed product (H3), since it activates a 'thematic link' between the two stimuli in consumer mind. The more the two products are visually aligned, the higher likelihood that they are judged as belonging to the same category and thus compared in terms of technical functionalities. Thus, once this link is activated, it leads to an implicit comparison between the technical features of the concept product and those of the marketed product. If the concept product features high functional alignment with the marketed product, then the very advanced technical functionalities of the former are likely to influence negatively the evaluation of the latter, which typically features more moderate performance levels on those same technical functionalities. However, it may be that the concept product features different technical functionalities (low functional alignment) than the marketable car. Therefore, it is less immediate for consumers to engage in comparisons between the features of the concept product and those of the marketed product, since non-alignable differences are harder to compare than alignable differences (Markman and Gentner 1996; Gentner and Markman 1993). In such case, consumers would be less likely to be influenced by the high performance of the concept product when they evaluate the marketed product (H4). We test the four hypotheses in two experimental studies using concept cars and marketed cars as stimuli, in which we manipulate visual and functional exaggeration (Study 1) and visual and functional alignment (Study 2) of the concept product, and assess their effects on the judgment of marketed products. Results support our hypotheses and show that i) exposure to a visually exaggerated concept product positively affects the judgment of a moderate product featuring a similar design, and moderates the negative effects of the concept product functional exaggeration; ii) the degree of functional alignment between a concept product and a marketed product negatively affects the judgment of the marketed product upon exposure to the concept product, with this effect being moderated by the degree of visual alignment between the concept product and the marketed product. Our results contribute to shed light on how exposure to concept products can influence consumer judgment of marketed products, thus emphasizing how this promotional tool may enhance new product performance even in the initial stages of new product launch.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||62 - Proceedings / Presentations|
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