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What I Thought I Wanted? Miswanting and Regret for a Standard Good in a Mass-Customized World

Author

Listed:
  • Niladri Syam

    () (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, 334 Melcher Hall, Houston, Texas 77204)

  • Partha Krishnamurthy

    () (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, 334 Melcher Hall, Houston, Texas 77204)

  • James D. Hess

    () (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, 334 Melcher Hall, Houston, Texas 77204)

Abstract

How can a standardized product survive in a mass-customized world? This requires understanding that consumers often experience problems predicting their future hedonic reactions to new experiences (such as custom products), leading to feelings of regret. This form of regret occurs not because the custom product differs from specifications, but because consumers miswanted the design they ordered. Our analytic model shows that regret aversion induces consumers to design custom products to reflect the attributes of the available standard products. Consequently, regret-averse consumers may choose the standard product rather than place a custom order. The number of available standard products, however, moderates both these effects. Two experiments empirically substantiate the key predictions of the analytical model: (a) the custom product's resemblance to the standard product grows with regret aversion associated with miswanting, (b) there exists a segment of “regretfully loyal consumers” for the standard product in a mass-customized world and it expands with regret aversion, (c) both the above effects are weakened by the presence of a second standard product, and (d) the custom product can increase its market share when the number of standard products increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Niladri Syam & Partha Krishnamurthy & James D. Hess, 2008. "What I Thought I Wanted? Miswanting and Regret for a Standard Good in a Mass-Customized World," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 379-397, 05-06.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:379-397
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1070.0302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yong Chao & Lin Liu & Dongyuan Zhan, 2016. "Vertical Probabilistic Selling under Competition: the Role of Consumer Anticipated Regret," Working Papers 16-14, NET Institute.
    2. Oksana Loginova, 2010. "Brand familiarity and product knowledge in customization," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 297-309.
    3. Nan Xia & S. Rajagopalan, 2009. "Standard vs. Custom Products: Variety, Lead Time, and Price Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(5), pages 887-900, 09-10.
    4. repec:eee:ijrema:v:26:y:2009:i:3:p:216-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sanjay Jain, 2009. "Self-Control and Optimal Goals: A Theoretical Analysis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 1027-1045, 11-12.

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