Feature fit: The role of congruence and complementarity when adding versus deleting features from products

Valentin Gattol, Maria Sääksjärvi, Tripat Gill, Jan Schoormans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – Previous research in the context of feature fit has examined the effects of congruence (i.e. more specifically, the extent to which a new feature and the product are similar in the hedonicutilitarian benefits they provide to consumers). The purpose of this paper is to examine a second dimension of feature fit: complementarity (i.e. the extent to which a new feature is related and
contributing to the main functionality of the product).
Design/methodology/approach – The role of feature fit is examined in two experimental studies (n¼593) in the context of feature additions, and also for feature deletions. Findings – The results showed that complementarity adds value to a product as an additional dimension of feature fit beyond congruence, complementarity matters more for a hedonic than for a utilitarian product, and complementarity can compensate for lack of congruence.
Originality/value – For a product developer, adding new features to a product offers an array of choices in terms of what feature(s) to include. Although having a large pool of potential features to choose from is attractive it can also prove problematic, as products may become overly complex and features do not fit well together. The results demonstrate the importance of both congruence and
complementarity as predictors of feature fit when features are added to or deleted from products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-607
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Marketing
  • New product development
  • Congruence vs complementarity
  • Feature addition vs deletion
  • Feature fit
  • Hedonic vs utilitarian


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