3. (Intangible) perception that superior benefits are received. The work ^ associated with the application of a series of products both provides ' "work ethic" support that superior results should be achieved and .3 allows the users to feel they are pampering themselves. §
tional products is simply based on subjective bias that cannot be reversed by the most ingenious marketing practices or advertising campaigns.* These consumers will not be swayed. It has been demonstrated that many consumers show more readiness to trust in the functionality of a series of conventional products than in that of a multifunctional product claiming to provide the same benefits. For them, "using is believing." Potential doubts about whether the second functionality of a multifunctional product really exists cannot surface when an additional product containing that functionality is actually seen, held, and applied. Similarly, potential doubts about whether the level of that additional functionality will be adequate are minimized if not vanquished through the use of conventional products.*
Cosmetologists, the professional consumers, have in many instances demonstrated their preference for conventional products. They object, primarily, to having undesired functionalities imposed on them and, at the very least, to the loss of qualitative and quantitative control of individual functionalities (Table 2) that is inherent to multifunctional products. To many cosmetologists, multifunctional products are seen to be as "professional" as a multipurpose golf club. In addition, multifunctional products have the potential to interfere with subsequent professional services, as in the case of a highly conditioning shampoo negatively impacting a permanent wave treatment. On a commercial basis, it is significant to note that cosmetologists' fees are generally based on the nature and number of services rendered. On that basis, the rendering of a series of conventional services
Table 2 Key Factors Negatively Impacting Selection of Multifunctional
1. Product functionality as part of a treatment. As in the case of a cosmetologist shampooing hair prior to a permanent wave, unnecessary conditioning or styling ingredients could interfere with the subsequent (and in this example, the primary/major) treatment.
2. Qualitative and quantitative control of functionality. The fixed ratio of the functionalities in a multifunctional product does not allow the cosmetologist to tailor the level of each treatment to the specific needs of individual clients.
3. Practical/commercial considerations. Professional fees are primarily based on the number of services that are provided. Consequently, a single multifunctional service may not be seen as justifying as large a total fee as would multiple conventional services.
*The writer participated in a series of consumer studies in which this was determined. Temptation not withstanding, neither the groups involved nor their preferences will be identified since these studies were conducted a number of years ago and their results may no longer be applicable to the same demographic population.
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