Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The “best ever” marketing strategy? Maybe not, says UGA study

29.03.2007
Marketing is often filled with hype and superlatives—the greatest, the best and even “heavenly”—but a new University of Georgia study that uncovers a curious aspect of human psychology could change how companies pitch their products.

In a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, a team led by UGA Terry College of Business assistant professor Vanessa Patrick finds that people take notice when they feel worse than they thought they would, but—oddly—not when they feel better than expected. The message for marketers, Patrick said, is that too much hype can hurt a company when people realize that their expectations haven’t been met.

“A number of marketers hype their product by using words like, ‘best ever’ or ‘the ultimate experience,’ to get customers to buy,” Patrick said. “But you don’t survive with a customer buying something once—satisfaction, repeat purchases and positive word of mouth are very important. Our study suggests that too much hype can be detrimental.”

People make predictions about how they’ll feel in the future all the time, but several studies have found that we often predict wrong. Patrick and co-authors Debbie MacInnis and C. Whan Park at the University of Southern California have coined the term “affective misforecasting” to describe the gap between anticipated feelings and actual feelings. To explore the role this misforecasting plays in product evaluations, the researchers recruited 171 volunteers to evaluate two different products, a film clip and a music clip.

In the first study, the researchers told the volunteers that they were about to see a movie and gave them ratings of the movie similar to what they would read on Amazon.com. About half the participants read positive reviews of the movie and were told that the average review was five stars. The other half read negative reviews of the movie and were told the movie had a one-star rating. Both groups watched the same film clip, a black and white silent comedy that had been shown in previous research to generate a relatively neutral response.

The researchers found that participants who anticipated watching a one-star movie but saw a somewhat funny movie did not pay attention to the fact that they felt better than anticipated. When participants read about a five-star movie but saw the old black and white movie, on the other hand, the difference was reflected in their evaluation of the movie.

In the second study, the researchers used a music clip and added a twist: After the participants either read the one-star or five-star review, some participants were given the additional task of remembering a seven-digit number. (The idea, unknown to the volunteers, was to prevent them from thinking about the gap in their anticipated and actual feelings.) The group that did not have to remember the number had similar results to those in the first part of the study. But in those who had to remember the number—and were distracted from thinking about their feelings—didn’t note the gap between their expected and actual feeling in their evaluation.

Affective misforecasting really has to do with emotions and not with product performance,” Patrick said. “Curiously, however, when consumers don’t feel as good as they expect to feel, this gap in feelings influences how they evaluate the product.”

In addition to highlighting the pitfalls of too much hype, Patrick said her study also implies that businesses can help themselves by helping consumers take notice of when they feel better than expected. Some grocery stores, for example, print messages on their receipts telling consumers how much they’ve saved. Patrick said the benefits of accentuating the positive may also apply to changing attitudes about doing necessary but sometimes unpleasant things like going to the dentist or the doctor’s office for a health screening.

For consumers, affective misforecasting may explain why that new jacket you “just had to have” is now relegated to the back of your closet, unlikely to be ever worn again. It may also explain why people agree to make presentations, speeches and other commitments, but kick themselves for agreeing when the time comes to do it. It may even help explain why one in two marriages ends in divorce.

Patrick said that misforecasting can be minimized simply by creating a more realistic expectation of the future. People may think about how much fun coaching the local youth soccer team will be, but neglect to think about other commitments they’ll have at the same time. People imagine themselves in a flashy new pair of shoes, but often neglect to think about the shoes in context of the rest of their wardrobe. Both mistakes could be avoided simply by putting the commitment or the product in context, Patrick said.

“When we think about the future we tend to think about it through this zoom lens that focuses on the event or the product and how nice it’s going to be,” Patrick said. “But context is important. The future is no different than the present.”

Sam Fahmy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>