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A Study of the Attitude toward Convergent Products: A Focus on the Consumer Perception of Functionalities

Authors

  • Sungkyu Lee,

  • Jong-Ho Lee,

  • Tony C. Garrett


  • The authors wish to acknowledge the Korea University Business School Research Fund, without whose support this research would not have been possible. In addition, they would like to acknowledge the valuable comments from the anonymous reviewers.

Address correspondence to: Jong-Ho Lee, Korea University Business School, Anam-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul, 136-701, Korea. E-mail: jongholee@korea.ac.kr. Tel: +82 2 3290 2821.

Abstract

The convergent product is an increasingly important phenomenon in the marketplace. The convergent product allows the developer to include more and more diverse functionalities into their products, which can satisfy a broad range of consumer needs. However, failures of convergent products arouse the need to understand its functionalities, and the optimal combination of functionalities and their relationships to attitude and purchase intention. In addition, because convergent product has the potential to offer more diverse functionality, we consider if this will have impacts on instrumental and emotional needs fulfillment and attitude and purchase intention. Additionally, consumer innovativeness was examined to ascertain if there were differences among consumers on their classification of the functionalities, or if it will moderate functional diversity, needs fulfillment, and product attitude. Using the Kano model, this study examined the nature of these relationships by examining the functionalities of a smartphone. Overall, our results show that the convergent products that include functionalities from two of the three categories of the Kano model, must-have and attractive, were rated more positively. Consumer innovativeness differences were found. Consumers with high innovativeness considered must-have and one-dimensional functionalities the most important, and consumers with low innovativeness considered all three important, although one-dimensional functionalities were considered significantly less important. Although increasing functional diversity positively raises product attitude and purchase intention, it tends to raise emotional needs fulfillment only once instrumental needs have been met, especially for respondents showing low innovativeness. The findings should arouse interest about factors that should not be overlooked when developing new convergent products.

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