Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of experiential augmentation on product evaluation by consumers. An important distinction is made between product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the environment. Furthermore, the research examines how brand familiarity moderates the effect of experiential augmentation. Design/methodology/approach: In two experiments (N = 210 and N = 70), both product-related and environmental experiential augmentation were varied. Participants tasted and evaluated a new coffee product from either a well-known or a fictitious brand. Findings: The findings of the first experiment indicate that product-related experiential augmentation contributes positively to product evaluation for both an unfamiliar and a familiar brand. Experiential augmentation of the environment influences product evaluation negatively, but only in the absence of product-related experiential augmentation. The second experiment tests some possible explanations for this negative effect and shows that it occurs only in the case of a familiar brand. Practical implications: The findings offer implications for marketing managers seeking to positively influence consumer product evaluations through experiential augmentation. First, marketing managers are advised to make a distinction between product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the evaluation environment, and, second, they should take brand familiarity into account when employing experiential augmentation of the environment. Originality/value: This research contributes to the literature by showing that product-related experiential augmentation and experiential augmentation of the environment differ in the impact they have on product evaluation and providing insight into the relationship between brand familiarity and experiential augmentation.
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