MOTIVATION FROM AN EXPERIENTIAL (VS. MATERIAL) PRODUCT FOCUS
Despite increased spending on self-improvement goals, such as health and fitness, consumers often fail to achieve their goals. The current research examines an intervention aimed at increasing consumers’ motivation by harnessing the purchases they have already made. We demonstrate that focusing on the experiential (vs. material) aspects of a fitness-related product (e.g., Apple Watch; workout t-shirt) increases consumers’ workout motivation (experiments 1A-1C). An experiential (vs. material) product focus is motivating because it increases the salience of consumers’ goal relevant identity (e.g., fitness identity; experiment 2). Supporting this identity salience process, this effect is mitigated when the goal relevant identity is already situationally active (experiment 3) and for a goal that is more chronically central to consumers’ identity (i.e., students’ academic vs. fitness goal; experiment 4). This effect is of real consequence for consumers, as an experiential (vs. material) focus increases consumers’ actual persistence in a multi-day fitness challenge (experiment 5). This research illustrates how and why different product focuses shape motivation, offering theoretical insights into the literature on experiential purchases, consumer identity, and goal pursuit.
Osselaer, Stijn van
Gilovich, Tom; Woolley, Kaitlin
Ph. D., Management
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis