The Effect of Surplus Avoidance on Completing a Goal in Loyalty Program

Jessica Y. Y. Kwong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Kin Fai Ellick Wong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
We propose a surplus avoidance principle in which consumers become less motivated when their current action will not only complete but also overshoot a goal, and argue that surplus avoidance results from an overgeneralization of concern for waste. In an experiment assessing consumers’ preference for a retailer as they progress toward the goal of a loyalty program, participants are less likely to return when their current purchase will complete the program with more stamps than needed versus those with just enough stamps. This gives preliminary evidence that surplus avoidance leads to behaviors opposite goal-gradient and time-discounting.
[ to cite ]:
Jessica Y. Y. Kwong and Kin Fai Ellick Wong (2008) ,"The Effect of Surplus Avoidance on Completing a Goal in Loyalty Program", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 894-894.