Comments for Innovation as a business: more than creativity

Anonymous

Wei-Ken, H., & Lin-Lin, C. (2012). Effects of novelty and its dimensions on aesthetic preference in product design

Firstly, we summarized the key points of our paper. The question posed in the paper is “How much do consumers value novelty in product design?” and, in order to define the relationship between novelty and aesthetic preference, a study on chair product design was conducted. The results show that the relationship between these two parameters is an inverted-U curve. This means that, instead of…
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Firstly, we summarized the key points of our paper. The question posed in the paper is
“How much do consumers value novelty in product design?” and, in order to define the
relationship between novelty and aesthetic preference, a study on chair product design was
conducted. The results show that the relationship between these two parameters is an
inverted-U curve. This means that, instead of maximizing novelty, a moderate level thereof
leads to the highest level of aesthetic preference. Overall, three dimensions of aesthetic
preference were defined: trendiness, complexity and emotion, and all of these proved to
have a positive, linear relationship with novelty. What was striking, however, was the fact
that trendiness has the highest influence on novelty.
Secondly, we have identified two mains implications for managers to better shape their
firm’s strategy. The first implication regards the inverted-U curve relationship between
product aesthetic and novelty. Indeed, there is a threshold to innovation in design: people
prefer a balance between typicality and novelty. Therefore, we advise managers to conduct
consumer surveys regarding the firm’s new designs, as there is a very thin line which should
not be crossed. The second implication is closely linked to trendiness. Indeed, what is
perceived as novel and beautiful depends greatly on what is fashionable at the moment.
Therefore, we would recommend managers to set up teams in charge of analysing
consumers’ current trendiness perception.
Thirdly, we exposed the limitations of the conclusion reached through this paper. Indeed,
managers should first identify the decision making factors in their industry, because the
aesthetic curve does not account for more traditional sector where artisanal “savoir-faire” is
valued. Then, it is important to keep in mind that customers rank their preference relatively
to the alternatives available on the market. Managers must be aware of how their product
will be perceived compared to their competitors. Also the primary function of a good should
not be forgotten; for example, with chairs, comfort is a mental association unconsciously
made when thinking about this particular product.
Lastly, we focused our attention on the insights provided by two additional papers . The first
one (1) moved from the idea that a preference for typicality over novelty may depend on
the risk associated with the choice. Yet, the authors found no statistical evidence supporting
the argument, when creating pressure on the participants in the survey. The second paper
(2) explains the reason why, in similar studies different results emerged concerning the
impact of novelty on aesthetic preferences. The issue here is the idea of novelty that the
participants have, since it is connected to the broader conception of “newness”. As the
study shows, there are four dimensions of newness, some of which – uniqueness, for
instance – have a negative effect on the perception of the product.
Our paper links the concept of novelty to innovation and shows that firms do not have to
present the most unique or innovative product to enter the market and to success. They
need to adapt to their target customers and take their preferences into account.
Appendix :
(1) Thurgood, C. et al (n.d.). The joint effect of typicality and novelty on aesthetic pleasure
for product design: influences on safety and risks.
(2) Akiike, A., Katsumata, S. (n.d.). The multidimensionality of design newness: an empirical
survey of product appearance and preference.

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