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Conference Proceedings (2011), The Day After: Inspiration, Innovation, Implementation, University of Ljubljana

Begging to Differ: The Role of Status and Stylistic Inconsistency in Product Evaluation

ALTHUIZEN Niek, SGOUREV Stoyan

Research on consumer assessments of inconsistent products, brands or ads suggests there is relatively little leeway for product designers to experiment, given consumers’ general preference for consistency and the cognitive difficulties posed by inconsistent offerings. Yet, examples of successful products that defy the imperative of stylistic consistency suggest that there are conditions under which inconsistency is tolerated and possibly rewarded. In a within-subjects experiment, we examine the effect of stylistic inconsistency on aesthetic and monetary value judgments of artworks under conditions of high- and low producer status. The results imply that high-status designers or brands have significant leeway for experimentation.

ALTHUIZEN, N. and SGOUREV, S. (2011). Begging to Differ: The Role of Status and Stylistic Inconsistency in Product Evaluation. In: The Day After: Inspiration, Innovation, Implementation. University of Ljubljana.