Learning, Thinking, Buying, Using: Contextual Effects on Consumers' Adoption of Really New Products
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Combining prior theory about really-new products with temporal construal theory, I examine how psychological differences in how consumers think about really new products (RNPs) and incrementally new products (INPs) affect consumers' formation of long-term product-purchase intentions and follow through on those intentions. In three field studies, I find that consumers form fewer long-term purchase intentions for RNPs than for INPs. They follow through on those intentions less often for RNPs than INPs and this difference in follow-through grows stronger over time after the measurement of purchase intentions. Consumers declaring intention to purchase INPs are more likely to form implementation intentions than those intending to purchase RNPs. Compared to those intending to acquire INPs, those intending to acquire RNPs are exposed to less new information and their attitude accessibility dissipates more rapidly over time. I discuss the implications of these findings for the launch of really new products and for market research on really new products.
In all of these findings, psychological newness is generally a bad thing for the product marketer. I conclude by identifying future research directions for examining the effect of product psychological newness on earlier stages of the product adoption process (Rogers 2003), where newness might be an advantage under some conditions. Psychological newness can affect consumers' initial efforts to learn about new products, and there are conditions under which newness might facilitate learning and awareness. A framework for product psychological newness' influence on elaboration of new product messages is proposed.
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