There is an ongoing discussion across several research streams as to whether consumers prefer new products with enhanced or unique attributes. The objective of this paper is to help resolve the conflicting views through examining the effect of three factors on consumer preferences for line extensions. These factors are 1) whether information about new product attributes need to be similar or different compared to existing knowledge 2) examining whether the number of new attributes influences preferences and 3) whether consumer preferences are instead influenced by the different types of enhanced and unique attributes. The summation of the findings not only provides possible explanations for why there are the conflicting views, it also presents an alternate perspective to this discussion. This is that consumers do not have a higher preference for products with either type of attribute. Instead, consumer preferences are determined through the relationship between their perception of how different the product is to their existing knowledge, how confident they are in the product delivering the benefits promised, and their preference for specific types of enhanced and unique attributes.
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- It is not about the Product Having Enhanced or Unique Product Attributes
Dean C. H. Wilkie
Lester W. Johnson