Effects of complete products on consumer judgments

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Date of Original Version



Purpose: The aim of this study is to better understand how consumers understand and judge multi-attribute products that are perceived as either more or less complete in terms of feature coverage in a category. Complete products are used to reduce the need of developing and managing expansive and expensive line-extension portfolios. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used an experimental method and conducted two studies to test hypotheses derived from the marketing literature. Findings: The authors find more complete multi-attribute products are preferred to less complete alternatives. This preference for more complete products remains under larger competitive product assortment, but is reduced under smaller assortment. With a higher price level and larger assortment, the preference is substantial. However, under the conditions of lower price level/larger assortment, higher price level/smaller assortment, and lower price level/smaller assortment, the preference is again reduced. Research limitations/implications: More positive evaluations and higher product utility accrue from adding new features to multi-attribute products prior to purchase. Moreover, more complete information causes more positive evaluations and cognitive responses. Larger assortment strains cognitive resources, and more complete multi-attribute products are easier to understand than less complete multi-attribute products. This processing facilitation generates positive affect and leads to greater use of information that can shorten processing. Price level strongly influences processing of more complete products under larger assortment, but not under smaller assortment. Practical implications: Brand managers have a better understanding of how consumers judge more and less complete products, and under which circumstances more complete products are preferred. Originality/value: The study of perceived product completeness is novel. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Product and Brand Management