Developing successful RNPs can bring competitive advantages for companies. However, the success rate of RNPs are relatively low because consumers often feel resistant to adopt
them. One reason for consumers’ resistance is their lack of comprehension of RNPs. To facilitate consumers’ comprehension, this paper conceptually discusses the opportunities related to designing the appearances of RNPs. More specifically, to facilitate consumers’ internal and external learning, this paper explores four underlying mechanisms: 1) product appearance as a visual cue to trigger category-based knowledge transfer, 2) to trigger analogy-based knowledge transfer, 3) product appearance as an information carrier to communicate innovative functionality directly, and 4) product appearance as a way to trigger congruity with innovative functionality of RNPs. The rationales for each underlying
mechanism are conceptually discussed, supported with relevant empirical evidence and examples found in the markets.