Boosting Material Products' Value via Posting Product Pictures on Social Media: An Experiential Transfer
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The conspicuous consumption of status-signaling products is a common pursuit of a high-status. Paradoxically, high-status acquisitions are not highly dependent on owning or showcasing superior product qualities or luxury brands, but on social interactions revolving around products. Consumption experiences after the purchase, thus, have the potential to illuminate whether and how consumers attribute the expected high-status to their products. However, previous conspicuous consumption research mostly focused on consumer motivations and product perceptions prior to the purchase. The present research investigates how the act of conspicuous consumption influences owners' consumption experiences at the post-purchase phase. Viewing conspicuous consumption as an antecedent of product valuation, this study inspects how material product displays on social media shifts owners' product perceptions and valuation. Results of four experiments show that sharing material product pictures on social media boosts products' experiential characteristics which, in turn, positively impact owners' product valuation (Study 1a and 1b). Disclosing high-status brand information along with product pictures and receiving high levels of social recognition for these pictures elevate owners' experiential perception and product valuation (Study 2); whereas, obtaining ambiguous comments hinders the experiential transition reducing the product valuation (Study 3). This research suggests that showcases of digitized material products are capable of turning product perceptions from material to experiential and enhancing owners' consumption experience. These findings can inform marketers on managing and benefiting from the post-purchase phase of consumption. Implications for luxury consumption and product ownership, and directions for future research are discussed.