It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Way You Say It! Effective Message Styles for Promoting Innovative New Services

50 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2015 Last revised: 8 Jan 2020

See all articles by Kerrie Bertele

Kerrie Bertele

University of Hertfordshire - Business School

Stephanie Feiereisen

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Chris Storey

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Tom van Laer

The University of Sydney

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

While innovations are critical to firms' long-term survival, they have a high failure rate. Identifying the factors that encourage consumer adoption of innovations is therefore essential for the successful management of new products and services. While prior research suggests that two message styles (i.e., metaphors and narratives) can help convey the benefits of new services, extant scholarly work has not examined which style increases adoption intentions to a greater extent. Study 1 demonstrates that metaphors enhance adoption intentions more than narratives for incrementally new services (INSs) but not for really new services (RNSs). Study 2 shows that low-figurativeness metaphors enhance adoption intentions more than high-figurativeness metaphors for INSs but not for RNSs and that consumers' negative cognitive responses underlie this effect. These findings have important implications for theory and practice.

Keywords: metaphors, narratives, figurativeness, adoption intentions, new services

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Bertele, Kerrie and Feiereisen, Stephanie and Storey, Chris and van Laer, Tom, It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Way You Say It! Effective Message Styles for Promoting Innovative New Services (2020). Journal of Business Research, 107(1), 38-49 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561287 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2561287

Kerrie Bertele (Contact Author)

University of Hertfordshire - Business School ( email )

College Lane
Hatfield, Hertfordshire Al10 9AB
United Kingdom

Stephanie Feiereisen

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Chris Storey

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Tom Van Laer

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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