Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is it best to withhold favorable information about products?

Date:
October 21, 2011
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research
Summary:
Consumers are more likely to choose products when marketers withhold some favorable information until late in the choice process, according to a new study. But marketers need to walk a fine line to disclose information at just the right time.

Consumers are more likely to choose products when marketers withhold some favorable information until late in the choice process, according to the Journal of Consumer Research. But marketers need to walk a fine line to disclose information at just the right time.

"Conventional wisdom suggests that when seeking to persuade consumers to buy certain products, sellers ought to always „put their best foot forward‟ by providing as much favorable information about these products as possible once they have consumers‟ attention," write authors Xin Ge (University of Northern British Columbia), Gerald Häubl, and Terry Elrod (both University of Alberta). But the researchers‟ study challenges this view.

Consumers use a two-stage process to make purchase decisions. First, they assess the various alternatives available in the marketplace and screen out those that are not attractive to them. Then they evaluate a small set of products to make a final choice. The authors found that marketers need to strike a balance between revealing too much information too soon or delaying so long that the product doesn‟t survive the initial screening process.

"This research shows that the preference-enhancing effect of the delayed presentation of favorable information after consumers have completed their initial screening often trumps the disadvantage due to the increased risk of the product not surviving the screening, resulting in an increase in the product‟s overall probability of being chosen," the authors write.

Why does this happen? The authors found the delayed presentation of favorable information causes a shift in the relative importance that consumers attach to different attributes (like price, cleanliness, and size for hotel rooms). They also found that delayed release of information causes a preference boost for the product as consumers compare it to a more "static" competitor, for which no additional information becomes available in the final choice stage.

"These findings have important implications not only for the sellers of consumer products, but also for other „persuaders‟ seeking to influence the actions of target individuals or organizations," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xin Ge, Gerald Häubl, Terry Elrod. What to Say When: Consumer Choice by Delaying the Presentation of Favorable Information. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2012 (published online Aug. 15, 2011) [link]

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research. "Is it best to withhold favorable information about products?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125755.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research. (2011, October 21). Is it best to withhold favorable information about products?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125755.htm
Journal of Consumer Research. "Is it best to withhold favorable information about products?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125755.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins