"It's Created from Inspiration": The Effect of Inspiration Information on Perceived Product Uniqueness : 제작자의 영감에 대한 정보(영감정보)가 제품의 인지된 독특성에 미치는 영향

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경영대학 경영학과
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서울대학교 대학원
perceived uniquenessproduct perceptioninspirationinformationproduct creation processdesign
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 경영대학 경영학과, 2018. 2. 이경미.
How might information that a product was inspired by an inspiration source affect consumer perception towards a product? For example, how would consumers perceive a glass when its form is inspired by the morning dewdrops? Contrary to the frequent use of such information (referred to as inspiration information) in the market place, surprisingly few consumer studies have attempted to understand the impact of inspiration information on the consumer.
In the current research, I address the research question of how consumers are influenced by inspiration information by providing empirical study results. In detail, I compare the consumer perception towards a product with and without inspiration information and unearth the underlying psychological mechanism that makes such perception difference. To do so, I conduct two separate experiments on online panels of Amazon Mechanical Turk.
In sum, the results of two studies suggest that consumers perceive a product inspired by an inspiration source (vs. a product without such information) as more unique. Consumers think of a product with inspiration information as original, unconventional, fresh, and even trendsetting.
What drives this inspiration information effect? Results show that inspiration information influences the way consumers perceive a creators motivation of product creation. Unlike products without such information, products with inspiration information are perceived to be created from an intrinsic motivation of the creator
specifically the motivation to express what the creator has felt from an inspiration source. Thus, when consumers encounter a product with inspiration information, they perceive that the product was created by a self-expressive motivation of the creator, which elevates the thought that the product is unique.
Study 1 (N=298) tests the main effect of inspiration information on perceived uniqueness of a product. I examine whether consumers perceive an identically shaped product with identical features as more unique when given information about the source of inspiration. I also test how the perception of the product as a self-expression of a designer mediates the effect.
Study 2 (N=208) scrutinizes whether the effect mitigates when the product is created by a group of designers compared to a single designer. If, in fact, the effect is driven by the notion that inspiration information infers the self-expressive motivation of the creator, the effect should be mitigated when created by a group of designers since it is difficult to think that a group of designers created a single product to express oneself. Results support this proposition by showing the suggested interaction effect between inspiration information and the number of creators.
The current study not only aims to understand a prevalent but uninvestigated marketing phenomenon but also aims to enrich the recent stream of research regarding how inferences about a human factor within a product influences product evaluation (Fuchs, Schreier, & van Osselaer, 2015
Newman & Dhar, 2014). The study also has theoretical implications that it introduces a new antecedent of perceived product uniqueness. Results suggest that perception of a product as a creators self-expression elevates its uniqueness.
The study also provides managerial implications. The study suggests that firms can differentiate their products from other products by providing information about where the product design was inspired from. It also suggests that the perceived individuality embedded in a product is what elevates the uniqueness of it. Thus, when informing consumers about the inspiration source of a product, it is important to emphasize a single designer involved in the creation process rather than emphasizing the entire firm or a group of designers.
My investigation on the inspiration information effect has explored the effect in product categories such as glass cups and chairs, which may have more relevance to product design than other product categories. In future studies I aim to expand the current study and investigate if this effect is robust across various product categories and various inspiration sources. I also hope to find other possible moderators or boundary conditions to understand the effect thoroughly.

Key words: perceived uniqueness, product perception, inspiration, information, product creation process, design
Student Number: 2016-20550
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College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원)Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과)Theses (Master's Degree_경영학과)
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