The Role of Imagination-Focused Visualization on New Product Evaluation

Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLVI, pp. 46-55, February 2009

11 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010

See all articles by Min Zhao

Min Zhao

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Steve Hoeffler

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Darren W. Dahl

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business

Date Written: August 30, 2010

Abstract

In this research, the authors examine the impact of imagination-focused visualization on the evaluation of really new products (RNPs) - that is, products that provide novel benefits but involve high learning costs. They compare imagination-focused visualization with memory-focused visualization and demonstrate that an imaginative focus leads to higher evaluations of an RNP but has no effect on the evaluation of incrementally new products, which involve continuous innovations that are easier to understand. They find that the underlying mechanism for this effect is imagination’s impact on the perceived value of new benefits rather than on the learning costs. Furthermore, they show that the advantage of an imaginative focus is not simply due to the increased focus on product benefits, because imagination still leads to higher product evaluation than memory-focused visualization, even if participants in both conditions are asked to think about product benefits exclusively. Finally, an explicit focus on learning costs while using an imaginative approach draws attention away from product benefits and attenuates the advantage of imagination on product evaluation.

Keywords: new product adoption, visualization, imagination, mental simulation

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Min and Hoeffler, Steve and Dahl, Darren W., The Role of Imagination-Focused Visualization on New Product Evaluation (August 30, 2010). Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLVI, pp. 46-55, February 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1668212

Min Zhao (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Steve Hoeffler

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Darren W. Dahl

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada
604-822-8346 (Phone)

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