New research has revealed that marketers will boost customers' experiences and perception of products if they engage with consumers to co-create them.
A study by the American Marketing Association found that when consumers have to do more to make a product ready for consumption, they give the end-product better reviews and think more highly of the product they use as input.
According to the association, the findings of the research are most relevant for marketers that use taste tests and product sampling in the creation and marketing of products. For example, where a dehydrated soup mix is taste-tested in a lab or sampled in a store, consumers are more likely to rate the product lower when they try the prepared product than if they prepare the mix themselves and then taste it, said the authors of the study.
The findings are based on the results of three experiments that asked participants to preare meal using a dinner kit to evaluate the self-production effect. Some participants were required to only heat and stir contents, others to additionally fry meat and spices. However, all dishes were secretly swapped with standardised food produced by a chef.
Authors Sigurd Villads Troye and Magne Supphellen, both of the Norwegian School of Economics, said: “Participants who engaged in self-production did not just upgrade outcome evaluations to make a better impression; they actually believed the self-produced food had more optimal sensory qualities. Our findings imply that free samples of products that require or allow self-production may not only improve brand image but also link consumers' self-concept to the brand.”