A study in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that some people dont go for products marketed as better or more effective than its rivals. Individuals who focus on potential gains will go for a product advertised as far superior to its competitors. However, those concerned with potential losses will disregard such campaigns in favor of comparisons that claim a product is similar to or just as good as established brands.
"Our results are novel in suggesting that prevention-focused individuals might process information…based on the uncertainty or possibility of loss," explain Shailendra Pratap Jain (Indiana University), Nidhi Agrawal (Northwestern University), and Durairaj Maheswaran (New York University).
The researchers distinguish between maximal and minimal comparisons, and their study is the first to show conditions in which maximal conditions are less persuasive than minimal ones. Maximal comparisons claim that brand A is superior to brand B, while minimal comparisons claim that brand A meets conventional expectations. According to the researchers, whether you are more provoked by maximal or minimal comparisons depends on whether you are focused on advancement or maintenance.
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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