Having versus consuming: Failure to estimate usage frequency makes consumers prefer multifeature products

Joseph K. Goodman, Caglar Irmak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The authors investigate whether consumers systematically consider feature usage before making multifunctional product purchase decisions. Across five studies and four product domains, the article shows that consumers fail to estimate their feature usage rate before purchasing multifunctional products, negatively affecting product satisfaction. The findings demonstrate that when consumers do estimate their feature usage before choice, preferences shift from many-feature products toward few-feature products. The authors show that this shift in preferences is due to a change in elaboration from having features to using features, and they identify three key moderators to the effect: need for cognition, feature trivialness, and materialism. Finally, the authors investigate the downstream consequences of usage estimation on product satisfaction, demonstrating that consumers who estimate usage before choice experience greater product satisfaction and are more likely to recommend their chosen product. These results point to the relative importance consumers place on having versus using product features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Having versus using
  • Multifunctional products
  • Product choice
  • Product features
  • Usage estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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