Imagination Difficulty and New Product Evaluation
Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2011
Posted: 5 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
This research examines the role of imagination difficulty on the evaluation of really new products (RNPs) in comparison to incrementally new products (INPs). We extend past research on accessibility utilizing an anticipatory approach where consumers look forward and generate mental images for future product usage. We found that the role of imagination changes based on the newness of the product. Specifically, for RNPs, imagination difficulty is perceived to be diagnostic in product assessment and thus higher imagination difficulty leads to lower product evaluations. However, for INPs, which are shown to be less susceptible to context effects, imagination difficulty has a limited impact on product evaluations. In addition, we show that the effect of imagination difficulty on the evaluation of RNPs is moderated by the level of involvement of the consumer. Research and managerial implications are discussed.
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