To Add Or Not to Add? the Effects of Add-Ons on Product Evaluation

Marco Bertini, London Business School
Elie Ofek, Harvard Business School
Dan Ariely, MIT Sloan School of Management
The research presented in this paper provides evidence that “add-ons” offered to enhance a base product can be more than just simple added benefits. We argue that consumers can make inferences based on add-ons and that these inferences lead to changes in the perceived utility of the core product itself. We further argue that there are two types of add-ons, vertical and horizontal, and that these two types lead to different inferences with opposing effects on overall evaluations. A set of experiments supports the general framework presented. From a prescriptive standpoint, our findings highlight the need for marketers to be more attentive in how they manage add-ons as part of their product strategy.
[ to cite ]:
Marco Bertini, Elie Ofek, and Dan Ariely (2007) ,"To Add Or Not to Add? the Effects of Add-Ons on Product Evaluation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 163.