Optimal Visualization Aids and Temporal Framing for New Products

50 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015 Last revised: 2 Nov 2015

See all articles by Min Zhao

Min Zhao

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Darren W. Dahl

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

Steve Hoeffler

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that more concrete and detailed information is always helpful in evaluating new products. The current research however demonstrates that when consumers use visualization to evaluate new products, the value of concrete versus abstract visualization is dependent on the temporal perspective taken by the consumer. Specifically, concrete information is beneficial when product visualization is retrospective in nature (i.e., focused on the past), whereas abstract information is found to be more helpful when product visualization is anticipatory in nature (i.e., geared toward the future). This occurs because the match between visualization aids and consumers’ temporal construal facilitates the extent of imagery processing realized, which in turn enhances new product evaluation. When the new product is very difficult to visualize, this pattern of effects is attenuated. Further, the effect is reversed when the product is highly familiar (i.e., not a new product) as pre-existing memories are shown to hinder imagery processing. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Min and Dahl, Darren W. and Hoeffler, Steve, Optimal Visualization Aids and Temporal Framing for New Products (2014). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1137; Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 2620717; Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 2620717. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620717

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)

Steve Hoeffler (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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