Presidential Address Experience Is Seductive

Stephen J. Hoch, University of Pennsylvania
[ to cite ]:
Stephen J. Hoch (2003) ,"Presidential Address Experience Is Seductive", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, eds. Punam Anand Keller and Dennis W. Rook, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, 2003     Page 1



Stephen J. Hoch, University of Pennsylvania

[Because my ACR Presidential Address is based on a paper called "Product Experience Is Seductive," published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 2002, 29 (2), 448-454, a short summary is provided here. The interested reader can find the complete story in the journal.]

Personal experience is overrated. We often find it more compelling than we should. In many personal consumption situations, we believe that we have learned more from product experience than actually is so, trusting ourselves more than partisan marketing sources. Product experience often can proceed like a seduction. The engaging and vivid aspects of experience catch our attention. We become intrigued and the intentional character of experience increases memorability. The non-partisan nature of experience can lead us to let our guard down a bit as we confuse familiarity with expertise. We become more open to self-influence than would be the case with the didactic sources that are responsible for marketing the product. The ambiguous, pseudo-diagnostic aspects of experience afford us plenty of leeway in interpreting the product experience in whichever complicitous way serves personal interests. It is here that we begin a partnership with product experience in our own seduction, possibly assisted by marketing communications from a self-serving source. Finally, the endogenous nature of experience allows us to adapt our tastes so as to accommodate to what has been chosen. Are we likely to be happy with the seduction or will we feel a bit betrayed? The history of well-known seductions suggests a little bit of both.