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

See all articles by Jeffrey S. Larson

Jeffrey S. Larson

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Kelly Goldsmith

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Bradley Allen

University of Oklahoma - Division of Marketing

Date Written: August 20, 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Larson, Jeffrey S. and Goldsmith, Kelly and Allen, Bradley, Both Good from Afar…and Far from Good? Mental Representation Changes Consumer Preference for Products from a Brand with a Reputation for Innovativeness (August 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2313407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2313407

Jeffrey S. Larson

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-2268 (Phone)

Kelly Goldsmith (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Bradley Allen

University of Oklahoma - Division of Marketing ( email )

United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,013
PlumX Metrics