The Role of Imagination-Focused Visualization on New Product Evaluation
Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLVI, pp. 46-55, February 2009
11 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 30, 2010
In this research, the authors examine the impact of imagination-focused visualization on the evaluation of really new products (RNPs) - that is, products that provide novel benefits but involve high learning costs. They compare imagination-focused visualization with memory-focused visualization and demonstrate that an imaginative focus leads to higher evaluations of an RNP but has no effect on the evaluation of incrementally new products, which involve continuous innovations that are easier to understand. They find that the underlying mechanism for this effect is imagination’s impact on the perceived value of new benefits rather than on the learning costs. Furthermore, they show that the advantage of an imaginative focus is not simply due to the increased focus on product benefits, because imagination still leads to higher product evaluation than memory-focused visualization, even if participants in both conditions are asked to think about product benefits exclusively. Finally, an explicit focus on learning costs while using an imaginative approach draws attention away from product benefits and attenuates the advantage of imagination on product evaluation.
Keywords: new product adoption, visualization, imagination, mental simulation
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