Both Good from Afar…and Far from Good? Mental Representation Changes Consumer Preference for Products from a Brand with a Reputation for Innovativeness
Posted: 22 Aug 2013 Last revised: 31 Jan 2018
Date Written: August 20, 2013
A great deal of academic research across a variety of disciplines has demonstrated that consumers generally respond favorably to products offered by brands with a reputation for innovativeness. The current research demonstrates an important, and previously unconsidered, psychological antecedent to this effect. Specifically, consumers’ preference for products offered from brands with a reputation for innovativeness (vs. other reputations) varies as a function of the consumer’s mental representation. A series of experiments shows that when the behavioral context favors a reliance on more concrete (vs. abstract) representations, consumers respond less (vs. more) positively to products offered by brands with a reputation for innovativeness. These results obtain because a reputation for innovativeness is accompanied by associations related to both feasibility (e.g., functional risk) and desirability (e.g., exciting new features), and attention to these different associations varies with mental representation. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for marketers and consumers.
Keywords: Branding, innovation, construal level theory, choice, purchase intentions
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