What's new? A multidimensional approach to product newness

J. B. E. M. Steenkamp, J. C. M. Van Trijp, A. MICHAUT-DENIZEAU

European Advances in Consumer Research

2001, vol. 4

Departments: Marketing

How do consumers assess the newness of a new product? We address this question to determine the relevant variables for perceived newness evaluation, get insight into the origin and determinants of newness within a product, and how these differentially influence overall newness. We find empirical evidence for a two-dimensional structure of overall newness. First, a perceptual dimension referring to the newness consumers can immediately perceive through product exposure, second, an epistemic dimension which requires accessibility to higher levels of knowledge structure to be perceived. Results show that attributes are top-of-mind in perceived newness elements, however benefits appear fast and naturally when products offer epistemic newness. Findings also emphasize that consumers need true new benefits to evaluate products as new. This research provides managers with an analytical tool to assess the intensity and nature of products' newness and to develop their marketing strategy accordingly