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

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