Consumer response to innovative products : with application to foods

A.M.K. Michaut

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


This thesis aims at gaining a deeper understanding of how consumers perceive product newness and how perceived newness affects the market success of new product introductions. It builds on theories in psychology that identified "collative" variables closely associated with newness perceptions on the part of the consumer. AIso, it explores the effect of newness on market success after one year and the pattem of market success during that time period.

It is hypothesized that perceived newness is a two-dimensional (rather than unitary) construct and that its two dimensions, (1) mere perception of newness and (2) perceived complexity, have different effects on product liking and market success over time. Consistent with our hypotheses, product liking linearly decreases with perceived complexity and cross section analysis reveals the same relationship with market success after one year. The hypothesized inverted-U shaped relationship does not hold in the case of product liking as it linearly increases with perceived incongruity (i.e. mere newness perception). In contrast, and consistent with our hypothesis, cross section analysis reveals an inverted-U relationship between perceived incongruity and market success after one year. Over time, the keyfindingsfrom this work emphasize that high perceived product complexity is a disadvantage to new product success in the short run. However, market success of complex products increases over time once initial rejection is overcome (i.e. learning to like). In addition, the mere perception of newness does not appear to have a significant effect on the shape of the diffusion curve. Finally, for a given product, qualitative comparisons between countries suggest that incongruity and complexity may differentially participate to overall newness and therefore affect liking.Overall, the thesis reveals the importance of considering product newness as a two­dimensional construct since each of these dimensions brings in key information to explain consumers' response to innovative products.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van Trijp, Hans, Promotor
  • Steenkamp, J.B.E.M., Promotor, External person
Award date8 Jun 2004
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789085040248
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2004


  • new products
  • food acceptability
  • innovations
  • foods
  • consumer behaviour
  • food preferences
  • food marketing


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