The Self-Expressive Customization of a Product Can Improve Performance

Ulrike Kaiser, Martin Schreier, Chris Janiszewski

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This research demonstrates that the self-expressive customization of a product can improve performance on tasks performed using the customized product. Five studies show that the effect is robust across different types of tasks (e.g., persistence tasks, concentration tasks, agility tasks). The evidence further shows that the effect is not due to changes in product efficacy beliefs, feelings of competence, feelings of accomplishment, mood, task desirability, goal activation, or goal attainability. Instead, the self-expressive customization of a product extends an identity (e.g., personal identity, group identity) into the product. When the product is subsequently used to pursue a goal whose desired outcome can affirm the extended identity, performance improves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816 - 831
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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