What Wins Awards is Not Always What I Buy: How Creative Control Affects Authenticity and Thus Recognition (But Not Liking)
18 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2016 Last revised: 25 Mar 2017
Date Written: December 1, 2015
Being lauded is not the same as being liked; celebrated products that win awards frequently fail to stand out in terms of commercial success. This work documents how creative control, the extent to which the same entity takes responsibility for all stages of the creative process, impacts which products are singled out for recognition but does not play a comparable role in determining what consumers like and thus purchase. Using real-world data, study 1 demonstrates how songs by performers who write their own material are more likely to garner acclaim but do not excel in terms of sales. Study 2 replicates the pattern of results in the lab. Study 3 reproduces the effect in a new domain (beer) using different measures of recognition. Study 4 shows creative authenticity, the extent to which a product is considered a faithful execution of its creator’s vision, mediates the effect of creative control on recognition. Further, study 4 highlights the contingent role played by the perceived trustworthiness of the creator on this relationship. Finally, study 5 presents a boundary condition such that when consumers do not feel confident in their appraisals of an experience, creative control’s impact on recognition and liking runs in parallel.
Keywords: creativity, authenticity, creative control, product recognition, awards, music, product evaluation
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