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How do consumers think about hybrid products? Computer wearables have an identity problem

Author

Listed:
  • Nieroda, Marzena E.
  • Mrad, Mona
  • Solomon, Michael R.

Abstract

Hybrid products, as exemplified by Apple or Fitbit wearables, claim features of different product categories (i.e., a technology and a fashion item). As these products develop, marketers find it challenging to position and market them because they transcend traditional categories. Using wearables as exemplars and utilizing the product design literature, we propose a typology of these hybrids using the dimensions of (1) mono- versus multi-functionality and (2) mass- versus luxury fashion. Apart from being a fashion product, mono-functional wearables support one main technology-enabled function (e.g., an activity tracker), whereas multi-functional wearables support multiple functions (e.g., being a watch, activity tracker and an organizer). To illustrate the optimal positioning strategies for wearables, we show how various permutations of these products impact a consumer's self-image and product desirability.

Suggested Citation

  • Nieroda, Marzena E. & Mrad, Mona & Solomon, Michael R., 2018. "How do consumers think about hybrid products? Computer wearables have an identity problem," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 159-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:159-170
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.04.024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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