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"It's innovative - I like it": Exploring Consumers’ Perceptions of Innovativeness and How Marketing Communications Influence Them

abstract Marketing and especially marketing communications play important roles in the diffusion of innovation (Cooper & de Brentani, 1991). Choosing the right channels, media, and messages can create an overwhelming hype and market demand, as has recently happened in the case of the ‘iPhone’ of Apple. No matter if the product is a mobile phone, a watch or a detergent, the innovative character of a really new product is expressed in current advertising. Professional communicators seem to believe that the exhibition of a product’s innovativeness communicates a valuable meaning to consumers. However, a lack of conceptual research on product innovativeness perceived by the consumer, the disunity on measurements and scales, and only fragmentary integration of findings from consumer research can be determined. This has led to the ignorance of what innovativeness means to consumers and how the perception of innovativeness might influence affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses. Furthermore, only technologically-driven products have been researched in the context of innovations. Investigating different products promises to uncover and better understand underlying mechanisms that influence consumers’ perceptions of innovations. Finally, marketing plays an important role in innovation diffusion in general. To date, the consideration that the consumer evaluates not only the new product but that there is an interaction between the product and certain marketing activities, has not been fully integrated into research on innovation diffusion. Four general research questions which guide this dissertation project can be determined: (1) How do consumers define and perceive product innovativeness? (2) How do consumers respond to perceived innovativeness affectively, cognitively, and behaviorally? (3) Do they value product innovativeness and how? (4) How might marketing managers be able to influence the perception of innovativeness through the appropriate marketing activities, especially through advertising, and might thereby increase adoption intention for different products? The dissertation project is structured alongside three essays. The first essay focuses on the concept of innovativeness and investigates perceived innovativeness from a consumer’s perspective conceptually. The second essay experimentally examines the communication and perception of really new technological and fast moving consumer products in an advertising context. The third essay investigates how analogies in marketing communications might influence the perception of novelty and the value of an innovation by applying an experimental approach. Amongst other scientific and managerial implications, the dissertation project is expected to show that a product’s innovativeness is perceived valuable by consumers and might increase the adoption intentions of consumers. The findings shall help to better understand the mechanisms of innovation communications and how marketing managers might be able to influence them.
   
keywords Innovation, innovativeness, consumer behavior, advertising, complexity, learning strategies
   
partner
type dissertation project
status ongoing
start of project 2010
end of project 2010
additional informations
topics Consumer Research
methods Experimental Design; Analysis: ANOVA, Regression
contact Antonia Erz