2015 Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award
New Product Design: Concept, Measurement, and Consequences
Christian Homburg, Martin Schwemmle, and Christina Kuehnl
Journal of Marketing: May 2015, Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 41-56
What motivated you to research this particular area?
A market research institute asked us for a scale that it could use for measuring the product design of its clients’ new products. This inquiry made us aware that no scale exists so far in research that allows the measurement of product design across product categories. Hence, we decided to develop a product design scale by ourselves supported by the market research institute to test the applicability of the scale (as well as scale refinement) with its panel.
Describe any challenges related to research and writing of your article?
Unfortunately, we experienced several challenges. For example, the market research institute we co-operated with to test our scale, did not want to share the data for scientific purpose with us. However, have guaranteed confidentiality with respect to the market research institute, its clients as well as clients’ products helped to convince to obtain access to data. During the revision process, we had to conceptually rework the definition and thoroughly reflect on the interplay between perceptions of design and responses to design. These steps, however, helped to substantially improve the paper.
How might marketing managers apply your findings in the field?
Marketing managers can use our product design scale to (1) disclose customers’ perceptions of the product design of their current and future products (e.g., testing prototypes during new product development); (2) evaluate the impact of the product design on customers’ purchase behavior in terms of willingness-to-pay, purchase intention, brand attitude, and word-of-mouth; (3) use this information on investment decisions on product design issues. While we do not know for sure, we believe that at least the market research institute employs our scale to test its clients’ product design.
Were there any interesting questions stemming from your article that you hope will be explored in future research?
One important future research avenue refers to the transfer and test of our scale to other senses. Consumer contexts are multi-sensory in nature and hence, it would be very interesting to test the scale and its applicability in such a multi-sensory context.
Questions for the Classroom
Employ our product design scale for a market research project in class to test the perceptions of the design of a specific product. Students can also use the data to run a regression analysis.
Having obtained such data would not only replicate our findings but may also easily allow students to become familiar with market research as well as a scientific project
Read the full list of 2016 Summer AMA Award Luncheon Winners