People don't always want bigger and better

April 11, 2006

Marketing scientists from Indiana, Northwestern and New York universities say some people don't seek products marketed as better or more effective.

Individuals who focus on potential gains will buy a product advertised as far superior to its competitors. However, consumers 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.

The researchers -- Shailendra Pratap Jain of Indiana University, Nidhi Agrawal of Northwestern University, and Durairaj Maheswaran, from New York University -- say their study is the first to show situations 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.

"Most research assumes that maximal comparisons might always be more persuasive," write the authors. "Our research shows conditions when maximal frames may be less persuasive than minimal comparative frames."

The study appears in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: What's the best way to charge millions of electric vehicles at once?

Related Stories

Super yellow blends for light efficiency

October 6, 2015

A blend of two polymers can be used to boost the efficiency of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), according to a research study published in the journal Applied Materials Today. Richard Friend of the Cavendish Laboratory, at the ...

I sprint for exercise: NASA's iRAT study

May 19, 2015

Run far or run fast? That is one of the questions NASA is trying to answer with one of its latest studies—and the answers may help keep us in shape on Earth, as well as in space. Even with regular exercise, astronauts who ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain

November 24, 2015

A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.