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

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.


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.


Marco Bertini, London Business School
Elie Ofek, Harvard Business School
Dan Ariely, MIT Sloan School of Management


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


G5. The Phenomenon of Brand Noise and Related Consumer Preferences in the Luxury Industry

Daria Erkhova, University of Bern
Elena Ehrensperger, University of Bern
Harley Krohmer, University of Bern
Wayne Hoyer, University of Texas at Austin, USA
John Zhang, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More


The Messy Satiation Effect: The Benefits of Eating Like a Pig

Kevin L. Sample, University of Georgia, USA
Kelly Haws, Vanderbilt University, USA

Read More


M1. How Rewarding is Your Rewards Program? Experiential vs. Material Rewards

Ayalla Ruvio, Michigan State University, USA
Farnoosh Khodakarami, Michigan State University, USA
Clay Voorhees, Michigan State University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.