Imagination Difficulty and New Product Evaluation

Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2011

Posted: 5 Aug 2011

See all articles by Steve Hoeffler

Steve Hoeffler

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Min Zhao

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Darren W. Dahl

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

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This research examines the role of imagination difficulty on the evaluation of really new products (RNPs) in comparison to incrementally new products (INPs). We extend past research on accessibility utilizing an anticipatory approach where consumers look forward and generate mental images for future product usage. We found that the role of imagination changes based on the newness of the product. Specifically, for RNPs, imagination difficulty is perceived to be diagnostic in product assessment and thus higher imagination difficulty leads to lower product evaluations. However, for INPs, which are shown to be less susceptible to context effects, imagination difficulty has a limited impact on product evaluations. In addition, we show that the effect of imagination difficulty on the evaluation of RNPs is moderated by the level of involvement of the consumer. Research and managerial implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Hoeffler, Steve and Zhao, Min and Dahl, Darren W., Imagination Difficulty and New Product Evaluation (2011). Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905559

Steve Hoeffler (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Min Zhao

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

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

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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