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題名:How do form and functional newness affect adoption preference? The moderating role of consumer need for uniqueness
作者: Yikuan Lee, Foo Nin Ho, Ming-chuan Wu,
期刊名稱:Journal of Consumer Marketing
摘要:Purpose A product communicates to consumers through its form and function, which may generate an effective response. Little is known, however, about the impact of the interaction of form and functional newness on consumers’ adoption preference. Drawing on uniqueness theory, this research proposes that the relative importance of form and functional newness to adoption preference could vary depending on the degree of consumers’ need for uniqueness (CNFU). Design/methodology/approach To mimic real consumption behavior as much as possible in our studies, we first choose a product that our respondents are familiar with and use on a daily basis. Secondly, we conduct a series of conjoint analysis in which respondents are presented with a set of options simultaneously and are asked to make a choice of adoption among those options. We conduct three conjoint studies using students and adult consumers. Findings Evidence from three conjoint studies using both student and adult consumer samples confirms the moderating role of CNFU. The results indicate that (1) form and functional newness positively impact adoption preference, (2) the positive effect of form newness is weakened in a compare-and-choose decision when functional newness is in place, and (3) this weakened interaction effect is mitigated with increasing CNFU. Research limitations/implications This research makes several contributes to the extant literature. First, we investigate the moderating role of CNFU in the interplay between form and functional newness. By identifying a distinctive pattern between high- vs. low-CNFU consumers, we propose a new aspect to explain the inconclusive results of the interaction effects in previous studies. Extending this line of research, we show that there is a dynamic component to the positive influence of form and functional newness on adoption preference. Consumers’ preference for form newness, relative to functional newness, is likely to be lessened with the decrease in their need for uniqueness. Second, this research goes beyond the survey or sales data approaches of prior studies to examine the interaction of form and function in a context that reflects actual decision processes. That is, assuming that consumers have access to a set of options before making an adoption decision, we are able to determine their priorities and preferences for new products. Using conjoint analysis, we observe consumers make a trade-off between form and functional newness. This approach allows us to investigate the relative importance of form and functional newness in affecting consumers’ adoption decision. Finally, the consistency of the results of our three studies enhances the robustness of this research. Practical implications While consumers appreciate improved and newer functionality in general, this may not be the case for a novel form. For consumers who desire to belong or to fit into social norms, adopting a product with an extreme atypical form could be risky and provoke a negative social response. For those with such conservative attitudes, learning costs are likely to overshadow the excitement of owning a radical product. Thus, a product with high functional newness and standard form would be the right choice for this group of consumers. On the other hand, consumers with high CNFU are more likely to overcome concerns regarding the risks and learning costs of a novel form due to their desire to use the unconventional product display to differentiate themselves and establish their uniqueness. Therefore, a product with high functional newness and novel form may be more favorable for them. With this insight, marketers can better define their market segment and position their product strengths. For example, in the competitive smart phone industry, some brands may try to focus on high form newness in order to capture high-CNFU consumers (e.g., LG Flex curved cell phone).
關鍵字: Consumer need for uniqueness, Adoption decision, Conjoint analysis, Form newness, Functional newness
Vol:Vol 35
NO:Issue 1