The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of experiential augmentation on product evaluation by consumers. An important distinction is made between product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the environment. Furthermore, the research examines how brand familiarity moderates the effect of experiential augmentation.
In two experiments (N = 210 and N = 70), both product-related and environmental experiential augmentation were varied. Participants tasted and evaluated a new coffee product from either a well-known or a fictitious brand.
The findings of the first experiment indicate that product-related experiential augmentation contributes positively to product evaluation for both an unfamiliar and a familiar brand. Experiential augmentation of the environment influences product evaluation negatively, but only in the absence of product-related experiential augmentation. The second experiment tests some possible explanations for this negative effect and shows that it occurs only in the case of a familiar brand.
The findings offer implications for marketing managers seeking to positively influence consumer product evaluations through experiential augmentation. First, marketing managers are advised to make a distinction between product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the evaluation environment, and, second, they should take brand familiarity into account when employing experiential augmentation of the environment.
This research contributes to the literature by showing that product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the environment differ in the impact they have on product evaluation and providing insight into the relationship between brand familiarity and experiential augmentation.
Funding for this research was provided in part by the Icelandic Research Fund and in part by Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. These sponsors were not directly involved in any part of the research process.
The authors want to thank the editor, Nick Lee, and two anonymous reviewers, whose comments greatly improved this article. In addition, the authors thank Jan Schoormans and Dirk Snelders (Delft University of Technology), JoAndrea Hoegg (University of British Colombia) and Ahmad Beltagui (University of Wolverhampton) for their valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Creusen, M.E.H., Gemser, G. and Candi, M. (2018), "The influence of experiential augmentation on product evaluation", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 5/6, pp. 925-945. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-04-2016-0220Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited