'Ten Million Readers Can't Be Wrong!', or Can They? On the Role of Information About Adoption Stock in New Product Trial
Posted: 29 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 25, 2014
Most if not all new product frameworks in marketing and economics as well as lay beliefs and practices hold that the larger the stock of adoption of a new product, the greater the likelihood of additional adoption. Less is known about the underlying mechanisms as well as the conditions under which this central assumption holds. Using both controlled consequential choice experiments and a field experiment involving new product purchase decisions, we demonstrate that the influence of information about a large stock of adoption on product diffusion is complex. We find that in order to increase the new product’s purchase likelihood the large stock of adoption needs be of similar others and be coupled with low product uncertainty (e.g., an informative product description). Otherwise, information about a large stock of adoption may be insignificant to or even reduce the purchase likelihood. This is the first direct test and demonstration of the intricate role of information about a large stock of adoption in the new product diffusion process, and bares direct implications for marketers.
Keywords: new product adoption, product diffusion, adoption stock, social proof
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