Friday, May 16, 2014

Beware the Maximizing Mindset: The Dangers of High Expectations

Kellogg School of Management's Neal J. Roese and Jingjing Ma have conducted some new research on consumer expectations.  They have shown that marketing professionals need to be aware that creating high expectations in consumers' minds can be dangerous.   Roese and Ma compare two different consumer mindsets:  the maximizing mindset (searching for something that is "best") vs. the satisficing mindset (searching for something that is "good enough").   In their experiments, they found that those in the maximizing mindset are more thorough in their evaluation of alternative products.  However, they also found that those in the maximizing mindset were more likely to experience "greater regret and lower satisfaction" than those in the satisficing mindset.    Marketers, therefore, must be cautious about setting unrealistic expectations for their product, thereby pushing the consumer into a maximizing mindset.  They may find that those consumers are very difficult to satisfy.   Ultimately, they may spend a great deal to acquire those customers, only to see them defect quickly. 

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