Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pack In Attributes for Hedonic Items

In a classic child consumer study at Northwestern University, University of Minnesota, and Harvard University, kindergarteners and third graders were told the candy preferences of a fictitious friend and then asked to choose a gift of candy for the friend. The possibilities varied in the number and amounts of different ingredients which might be of interest to the friend. Some had lots of chocolate and other alternatives didn’t. Some had both raisins and chocolate. Others had only one.
     The kindergarteners chose, on average, the gifts having the highest number of different ingredients, regardless of the preferences of the recipient. A candy with both chocolate and raisins was especially likely to be selected, even for the recipient whom the kindergartener had been told hated raisins. But third graders almost all placed more importance on the particular preferences of the recipient than on the number of ingredients.
     From this classic study, it was concluded that as consumers mature, they place progressively less importance on the sheer number of attributes of an item being considered for purchase.
     This conclusion has been refined over subsequent years of consumer research. However, studies at University of Florida and University of Pennsylvania found that with adult consumers, the number of attributes is more important when it comes to hedonic than with utilitarian products and services.
     Consumers make decisions for a mix of utilitarian and hedonic reasons. The utilitarian is to get a job done. The hedonic is to feel pleasure. When buying a power saw, the utilitarian is to have a way to cut things and the hedonic is to experience pride in the clean cuts. Even though there’s always a mix of the two, either the utilitarian or the hedonic often predominates. With the power saw, the utilitarian is probably more important to the shopper. With a ticket to a concert, it’s probably the hedonic.
     One explanation for the greater importance of attribute count with hedonic items is that consumers feel a need for more justification to make the purchase. Another explanation is that people are more interested in a variety of experiences with hedonic items. Even if we love thinking about the chocolate in what we’re eating, occasionally switching to thoughts about the accompanying raisins makes it more fun.
     It’s true that adult consumers place less importance on attribute count than do children. But with adults, pack in the attribute claims for hedonic items.

Click below for more: 
Earn Your Way into Children’s Minds 
Cultivate Customers’ Hedonic Objectives 
Bundle Utility, Discount Hedonism

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