The effect of Telepresence and Anthropomorphic attributes on consumers comprehension of RNPs: A study on consumer innovativeness and anthropomorphism (measurement and application)

Authors: Seyed Esfahani, M.

Editors: Reynolds, N. and Ashleigh, M.J.

Conference: Southampton University


The advancement of technology imposes an inevitable pressure on companies to introduce new products and services into the marketplace, to stay competitive or survive. One product category that is growing increasingly within the marketplace is Really New Products (RNPs), which refers to very innovative products. Businesses therefore need to be aware of the ways they can promote RNPs in order for consumer to efficiently understand RNPs and form a positive attitude and intention towards these products. This study is concerned with the product promotion element within the domain of RNPs. Various presentation techniques such as telepresence (vividness and interactivity) and anthropomorphic attributes are discussed within this thesis. Furthermore, the influence of targeting different groups of consumers (innovative consumers) is examined. Anthropomorphism is analysed in more depth to get a better understanding of how this factor influences consumers learning and online behaviour.

Three papers are formed to investigate each category further. Two online experiments and one survey are designed. The first experiment recruited 800 participants to examine the effect of presentation formats on individual responses towards RNPs within Paper 1. The findings from Paper 1 indicate that various presentation elements have a different impact upon consumer learning, attitude and purchase intention for 3 RNPs. The second set of online experiments within Paper 2 with 500 participants investigated the impact of various anthropomorphic attributes and its influence on consumer response towards RNPs. The result indicates that the inclusion of human-like avatars increases an individual’s perceived anthropomorphism. Furthermore, perceived anthropomorphism has a significant positive influence upon consumer learning, attitude and purchase intention towards RNPs. Paper 3 studied the influence of consumer innovativeness and how consumers differ in their learning and behaviour towards RNPs. 300 participants were recruited to answer an online survey. The findings indicate that various types of innovative consumers react towards and learn about RNPs in different directions. Each paper is thoroughly discussed and the limitations, managerial implications and future research recommendations are considered.

Source: Manual