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Research & Publications

Curated Research

Curated Research

Hedonic shopping motivations

Mark J Arnold, Kristy E Reynolds. Journal of Retailing: 2003, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 77-95.

Mark J Arnold, Kristy E Reynolds. Journal of Retailing: 2003, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 77-95.

Given the increasing importance of entertainment as a retailing strategy, this study identifies a comprehensive inventory of consumers’ hedonic shopping motivations. Based on exploratory qualitative and quantitative studies, a six-factor scale is developed that consists of adventure, gratification, role, value, social, and idea shopping motivations. Using the six-factor hedonic shopping motivation profiles, a cluster analysis of adult consumers reveals five shopper segments, called here the Minimalists, the Gatherers, the Providers, the Enthusiasts, and the Traditionalists. The utility of the proposed scale is discussed both for future research and retail strategy.

Article

Customer Experience Creation: Determinants, Dynamics and Management Strategies

Peter C. Verhoef, Katherine N. Lemon, A Parasuraman, Anne Roggeveen, Michael Tsiros, Leonard A Schlesinger. Journal of Retailing: March 2009, Vol. 85, No.1, pp.31-41.

Peter C. Verhoef, Katherine N. Lemon, A Parasuraman, Anne Roggeveen, Michael Tsiros, Leonard A Schlesinger. Journal of Retailing: March 2009, Vol. 85, No.1, pp.31-41.

Retailers, such as Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret, aim to provide customers a great experience across channels. In this paper we provide an overview of the existing literature on customer experience and expand on it to examine the creation of a customer experience from a holistic perspective. We propose a conceptual model, in which we discuss the determinants of customer experience. We explicitly take a dynamic view, in which we argue that prior customer experiences will influence future customer experiences. We discuss the importance of the social environment, self-service technologies and the store brand. Customer experience management is also approached from a strategic perspective by focusing on issues such as how and to what extent an experience-based business can create growth. In each of these areas, we identify and discuss important issues worthy of further research.

Article

Assessing the effects of quality, value, and customer satisfaction on consumer behavioral intentions in service environments

J. Joseph Cronin Jr., Michael K Brady, G. Thomas M Hult. Journal of Retailing: Summer 2000, Vol. 76, No. 2, pp. 193-218.

Joseph Cronin Jr., Michael K Brady, G. Thomas M Hult. Journal of Retailing: Summer 2000, Vol. 76, No. 2, pp. 193-218.

The following study both synthesizes and builds on the efforts to conceptualize the effects of quality, satisfaction, and value on consumers’ behavioral intentions. Specifically, it reports an empirical assessment of a model of service encounters that simultaneously considers the direct effects of these variables on behavioral intentions. The study builds on recent advances in services marketing theory and assesses the relationships between the identified constructs across multiple service industries. Several competing theories are also considered and compared to the research model. A number of notable findings are reported including the empirical verification that service quality, service value, and satisfaction may all be directly related to behavioral intentions when all of these variables are considered collectively. The results further suggest that the indirect effects of the service quality and value constructs enhanced their impact on behavioral intentions.

To date the study of service quality, service value, and satisfaction issues have dominated the services literature. The crux of these discussions has been both operational and conceptual, with particular attention given to identifying the relationships among and between these constructs. These efforts have enabled us to better discriminate between the three variables and have resulted in an emerging consensus as to their interrelationships. This interest has certainly not escaped practitioners’ attention, as they have tied these variables to service employee evaluations and compensation packages. This is no doubt due to the implicit assumption that improvement in perceptions of the quality, value, and satisfaction in a service encounter should lead directly to favorable outcomes. Nevertheless, it is here where confusion remains.

Service managers who refer to the literature to help evaluate the effectiveness of firm strategies or to set employee goals will find conflicting information as to which of these variables, if any, is directly related to a service firm’s bottom line (Bolton, 1998). Indeed, even a cursory evaluation of the literature reveals a myriad of conflicting results, as no research has simultaneously compared the relative influence of these three important constructs on service encounter outcomes. This gap in the literature has generated a new call for research. Referring to the effects of quality, value, and satisfaction on consumer purchase intentions, Ostrom and Iacobucci (1995) report “… it would be interesting to examine these consumer judgments simultaneously in one study to compare their relative effects on subsequent consequential variables” (p.18).

This leads to a number of unanswered questions. Is it necessary to measure all three of these variables or, as is suggested in the literature, will a subset of the three suffice? Do greater levels of service quality only indirectly encourage patronage by increasing the value and/or satisfaction associated with an organization’s services? Are there other indirect effects on behavioral intentions that may have been overlooked? The purpose of this research is to answer these questions, and others. Therefore, a central premise of the reported research is that examining only a limited subset of the direct effects of quality, value, and satisfaction, or only considering one variable at-a-time, may confound our understanding of consumers’ decision-making. This, in turn, can lead to strategies that either overemphasize or underappreciate the importance of one or more of these variables.

The study is presented in seven additional sections. First, in the conceptual background section, a discussion of both the convergent and divergent theory that underlies the model is presented. In the second section, several competing models of how consumers evaluate service encounters are identified based on a review of the literature. Three of the models emanate from the quality, satisfaction, and value literatures, whereas the fourth is an integrated model that builds on these three. Third, a consideration of indirect effects is presented. The fourth section reports the methods and results of the empirical assessments. These results are then discussed in the fifth, and the conclusions are presented in the sixth section. The limitations of the research are considered in the final section.

Article

Consumer perceived value: The development of a multiple item scale

Jillian C Sweeneya, Geoffrey N Soutarb. Journal of Retailing: Summer 2001, Vol. 77, No. 2, pp. 203-220.

Jillian C Sweeneya, Geoffrey N Soutarb. Journal of Retailing: Summer 2001, Vol. 77, No. 2, pp. 203-220.

Value creation is widely discussed in the practitioner literature and is often a part of organizations’ mission statements and objectives. It is seen by many commentators as the key to long-term success, with Albrecht (1992, p 7) arguing that “the only thing that matters in the new world of quality is delivering customer value.” Despite this emphasis, little research has addressed the value construct itself and there is no well-accepted value measure, even in the retail environment in which customers evaluate products before purchase.

The present research project describes the development of a 19-item measure, PERVAL, that can be used to assess customers’ perceptions of the value of a consumer durable good at a brand level. The measure was developed for use in a retail purchase situation to determine what consumption values drive purchase attitude and behavior. Four distinct, value dimensions emerged that were termed emotional, social, quality/performance and price/value for money. The reliability and validity of the scale was assessed in a prepurchase situation, using exploratory and confirmatory analyses. All four value dimensions were found to help significantly in explaining attitudes and behavior. The scale was also tested in a postpurchase situation and found to be both reliable and valid in this context as well. The PERVAL scale has a variety of potential applications and can serve as a framework for further empirical research in this important area.

Article

From Multi-Channel Retailing to Omni-Channel Retailing: Introduction to the Special Issue on Multi-Channel Retailing

Peter C. Verhoefa, P.K. Kannanb, J. Jeffrey Inman. Journal of Retailing: June 2015, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 174-181.

Peter C. Verhoefa, P.K. Kannanb, J. Jeffrey Inman. Journal of Retailing: June 2015, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 174-181.

The world of retailing has changed dramatically in the past decade. The advent of the online channel and new additional digital channels such as mobile channels and social media have changed retail business models, the execution of the retail mix, and shopper behavior. Whereas multi-channel was in vogue in the last decade in retailing, we now observe a move to so-called omni-channel retailing. Omni-channel retailing is taking a broader perspective on channels and how shoppers are influenced and move through channels in their search and buying process. We discuss this development conceptually and subsequently discuss existing research in this multi-channel retailing. We also introduce the articles in this special issue on multi-channel retailing and position these articles in the new omni-channel movement. We end with putting forward a research agenda to further guide future research in this area.

Article

Better Not Smile at the Price: The Differential Role of Brand Anthropomorphization on Perceived Price Fairness

Hyokjin Kwak, Marina Puzakova, & Joseph F. Rocereto. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 56-76.

Hyokjin Kwak, Marina Puzakova, & Joseph F. Rocereto. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 56-76.

This research shows that brand anthropomorphization increases the perceived unfairness of price increases and the perceived fairness of price decreases. First, analyzing a household panel data set, the authors demonstrate the real-world consequences of brand humanization on consumers’ price sensitivity. Second, building on the theoretical premise that fairness judgments depend on consumer focus on the self versus others, they find that brand humanization enhances perceived unfairness of price increases for agency-oriented consumers, who tend to maximize their own self-interests. However, for communion-oriented consumers, who generally consider the needs of others, brand humanization increases perceived fairness of both price increases and decreases. Furthermore, because consumers’ focus on the self versus others also depends on relationship goals, the nature of consumer–brand relationships interacts with agency–communion orientation to influence the effect of brand humanization on perceived price fairness. For example, exchange relationship norms reduce the power of brand anthropomorphization to enhance perceived fairness of price changes for communion-oriented consumers. In contrast, the communal nature of these relationships makes both agency- and communion-oriented consumers infer greater positive intent from a humanized (vs. nonhumanized) brand, thus leading to a more positive effect of brand humanization on price fairness for price decreases.

Article

Press Release

Who or What to Believe: Trust and the Differential Persuasiveness of Human and Anthropomorphized Messengers

Maferima Touré-Tillery & Ann L. McGill. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 94-110.

Maferima Touré-Tillery & Ann L. McGill. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 94-110.

Participants in three studies read advertisements in which messages were delivered either by people or by anthropomorphized agents—specifically, “talking” products. The results indicate that people low in interpersonal trust are more persuaded by anthropomorphized messengers than by human spokespeople because low trusters are more attentive to the nature of the messenger and believe that humans, more than partial humans (i.e., anthropomorphized agents), lack goodwill. People high in interpersonal trust are less attentive about who is trying to persuade them and so respond similarly to human and anthropomorphized messengers. However, when prompted to be attentive, they are more persuaded by human spokespeople than by anthropomorphized messengers due to their belief that humans, more than partial humans, act with goodwill. Under conditions in which attentiveness is low for all consumers, high and low trusters alike are unaffected by the nature of persuasion agents. The authors discuss the implications of the findings for advertisers considering the use of anthropomorphized “spokespeople.”

Article

BYOB: How Bringing Your Own Shopping Bags Leads to Treating Yourself and the Environment

Uma R. Karmarkar & Bryan Bollinger. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 1-15.

Uma R. Karmarkar & Bryan Bollinger. Journal of Marketing: July 2015, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 1-15.

As concerns about pollution and climate change become more mainstream, the belief that shopping with reusable grocery bags is an important environmental and socially conscious choice has gained prevalence. In parallel, firms have joined policy makers in using a variety of initiatives to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags. However, little is known about how these initiatives might alter other elements of consumers’ in-store behavior. Using scanner panel data from a single California location of a major grocery chain, and controlling for consumer heterogeneity, the authors demonstrate that bringing one’s own bags increases purchases of not only environmentally friendly organic foods but also indulgent foods. They use experimental methods to further explore the expression of these effects and to consider the effects of potential moderators, including competing goals and store policies. The findings have implications for decisions related to product pricing, placement and assortment, store layout, and the choice of strategies employed to increase the use of reusable bags.

Article

Press Release

How Kinetic Property Shapes Novelty Perceptions

Junghan Kim & Arun Lakshmanan. Journal of Marketing: November 2015, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 94-111.

Junghan Kim & Arun Lakshmanan. Journal of Marketing: November 2015, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 94-111.

This article demonstrates a new substantive finding: that kinetic property in advertising, defined as direction changes in the paths of moving on-screen ad elements, enhances consumer judgments of product novelty. Across six studies, the authors first outline an inference-based theory as to why the novelty-enhancing effect of kinetic property manifests: kinetic property generates impressions of how visually lively an ad is, which leads to inferences of product atypicality and, consequently, higher novelty judgments. Second, they demonstrate boundary conditions by showing that (1) the positive effect for kinetic property is evident with incremental (and not radical) innovations, (2) the effect dissipates when figure-ground contrast in the ad makes kinetic property less discriminable, (3) contextual adaptation to kinetic property can mitigate this effect, and (4) kinetic property enhances novelty judgments primarily when product category characteristics such as perceived market dynamism match with kinetic property–based executions. The authors offer substantive implications for firms marketing new products as well as for multimedia advertising.

Article

Press Release

Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption

Aaron R. Brough, James E. B. Wilkie, Jingjing Ma, Mathew S. Isaac, & David Gal. Journal of Consumer Research: August 2016, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 567-582.

Aaron R. Brough, James E. B. Wilkie, Jingjing Ma, Mathew S. Isaac, & David Gal. Journal of Consumer Research: August 2016, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 567-582.

Why are men less likely than women to embrace environmentally friendly products and behaviors? Whereas prior research attributes this gender gap in sustainable consumption to personality differences between the sexes, we propose that it may also partially stem from a prevalent association between green behavior and femininity, and a corresponding stereotype (held by both men and women) that green consumers are more feminine. Building on prior findings that men tend to be more concerned than women with gender-identity maintenance, we argue that this green-feminine stereotype may motivate men to avoid green behaviors in order to preserve a macho image. A series of seven studies provides evidence that the concepts of greenness and femininity are cognitively linked and shows that, accordingly, consumers who engage in green behaviors are stereotyped by others as more feminine and even perceive themselves as more feminine. Further, men’s willingness to engage in green behaviors can be influenced by threatening or affirming their masculinity, as well as by using masculine rather than conventional green branding. Together, these findings bridge literatures on identity and environmental sustainability and introduce the notion that due to the green-feminine stereotype, gender-identity maintenance can influence men’s likelihood of adopting green behaviors.

Article

The Impact of Dynamic Presentation Format on Consumer Preferences for Hedonic Products and Services

Anne L. Roggeveen, Dhruv Grewal, Claudia Townsend, & R. Krishnan. Journal of Marketing: November 2015, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 34-49.

Anne L. Roggeveen, Dhruv Grewal, Claudia Townsend, & R. Krishnan. Journal of Marketing: November 2015, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 34-49.

Manufacturers and online retailers are readily availing themselves of new technologies to present their merchandise using a variety of formats, including static (still image) and dynamic (video) portrayal. Building on vividness theory, the authors propose and demonstrate that presenting products and services using a dynamic visual format enhances consumer preference for hedonic options and willingness to pay for those options. The dynamic presentation format increases involvement with the product/service experience in a manner presumably similar to that of the actual product experience. The result is an increased preference for and valuation of hedonic options. This holds true for experiential and search products in single and joint evaluations and carries over to subsequent choices. Across all studies, the results demonstrate that a dynamic (relative to static) presentation format enhances choice of the hedonically superior (vs. utilitarian-superior) option by more than 79%.

Article

Press Release

Should Firms Use Small Financial Benefits to Express Appreciation to Consumers? Understanding and Avoiding Trivialization Effects

Peggy J. Liu, Cait Lamberton, & Kelly L. Haws. Journal of Marketing: May 2015, Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 74-90.

Peggy J. Liu, Cait Lamberton, & Kelly L. Haws. Journal of Marketing: May 2015, Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 74-90.

Firms commonly add small financial benefits to communications designed to acknowledge consumers’ loyalty or support. Yet is it always better to provide some financial benefit as opposed to simply saying “thank you”? Although this question has important implications for customer relationship management, research has not yet provided an answer. This article demonstrates that, indeed, a financial acknowledgment (defined as an acknowledgment with a monetary benefit) can lead to less positive outcomes than offering a verbal acknowledgment (defined as an acknowledgment without a monetary benefit), a phenomenon termed the “trivialization effect.” The results explain this effect in terms of shifting evaluation standards: whereas a verbal acknowledgement is evaluated relative to verbal gratitude expression norms, a financial acknowledgment is evaluated relative to both verbal norms and customers’ monetary expectations. The authors also demonstrate two practical, theory-consistent ways firms can structure financial acknowledgments to eliminate the trivialization effect. Thus, this research shows both the peril of small financial benefits as a means of expressing customer appreciation and practical, low-cost ways to salvage their potential.

Article

Press Release

Sometimes “Fee” Is Better Than “Free”: Token Promotional Pricing and Consumer Reactions to Price Promotion Offering Product Upgrades

Wen Mao. Journal of Retailing: June 2016, Vol. 92, No. 2, pp. 173-184.

Wen Mao. Journal of Retailing: June 2016, Vol. 92, No. 2, pp. 173-184.

Conventional wisdom suggests that for price promotions offering product upgrades, the best promotional price to maximize promotion effectiveness is to offer product upgrades for free (e.g., buy an 8″ birthday cake, upgrade to 10″ for free). This research examines a counterintuitive pricing scheme coined “token promotional pricing (TPP)”, showing that a price promotion can be more effective and can generate greater sales when the upgrade is offered at a small, token price (e.g., upgrade the cake for 1¢) rather than free. Results from Studies 1 and 2 attest to the robustness of the TPP effect involving hypothetical and real product purchase, and help rule out several alternative explanations of the TPP effect. Consumers’ more positive reaction to a token-priced than a free upgrade is hypothesized to be a contrasting effect from consumers’ comparing the upgrade’s regular retail price against a disproportionally small (but non-zero) promotional price. Accordingly, asking consumers to articulate deal savings prior to evaluating the deal, which disinhibits relative thinking and encourages consideration of absolute values, renders a token-priced upgrade no more attractive than a comparable, free upgrade (Study 3). The article concludes by discussing research implications and limitations, and offers suggestions for followup study.

Article

A COOL Effect: The Direct and Indirect Impact of Country-of-Origin Disclosures on Purchase Intentions for Retail Food Products

Christopher Berry, Amaradri Mukherjee, Scot Burton, & Elizabeth Howlett. Journal of Retailing: September 2015, Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 533-542.

Christopher Berry, Amaradri Mukherjee, Scot Burton, & Elizabeth Howlett. Journal of Retailing: September 2015, Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 533-542.

Retailers recently became required to provide specific country-of-origin information for muscle cuts of beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and goat. Drawing from the consumer inference and activation theory literatures, hypotheses are offered regarding how consumers use country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to draw inferences related to specific product attributes and how these inferences, in turn, lead to differences in mediation effects for purchase intentions. Results from a pilot study and two experiments reveal that consumers are more likely to purchase meat when it is identified as a U.S. product. Furthermore, the relative strength of the mediating effects of perceived food safety, taste, and freshness differs as expected. The authors show how the direct and indirect effects of the country-of-origin disclosure are attenuated by the presentation of objective information about the meat processing systems of competing countries. Given the recently mandated COOL disclosures, results have important implications for food retailers, members of the supply chain, and consumers.

Article

The Cool Scent of Power: Effects of Ambient Scent on Consumer Preferences and Choice Behavior

Adriana V. Madzharov, Lauren G. Block, & Maureen Morrin, Journal of Marketing: January 2015, Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 83-96.

Adriana V. Madzharov, Lauren G. Block, & Maureen Morrin, Journal of Marketing: January 2015, Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 83-96.

The present research examines how ambient scents affect consumers’ spatial perceptions in retail environments, which in turn influence customers’ feelings of power and, thus, product preference and purchasing behavior. Specifically, the authors demonstrate that in a warm- (vs. cool-) scented and thus perceptually more (vs. less) socially dense environment, people experience a greater (vs. lesser) need for power, which manifests in increased preference for and purchase of premium products and brands. This research extends knowledge on store atmospherics and customer experience management through the effects of ambient scent on spatial perceptions and builds on recent research on power in choice contexts.

Article

Press Release

The effect of social exclusion on consumer preference for anthropomorphized brands

Rocky Peng Chen, Echo Wen Wan, & Eric Levy. Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2017, Vol. 27, No.1, pp. 23-34.

Rocky Peng Chen, Echo Wen Wan, & Eric Levy. Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2017, Vol. 27, No.1, pp. 23-34.

Prior research has mainly examined the effect of social exclusion on individuals’ interactions with other people or on their product choices as an instrument to facilitate interpersonal connection. The current research takes a novel perspective by proposing that socially excluded consumers would be more motivated to establish a relationship with a brand (rather than using the brand to socially connect with other people) when the brand exhibits human-like features. Based on this premise, we predict and find support in three studies that socially excluded consumers, compared with non-excluded consumers, exhibit greater preference for anthropomorphized brands (studies 1–3). This effect is mediated by consumers’ need for social affiliation and is moderated by the opportunity for social connection with other people (study 2). Furthermore, socially excluded consumers differ in the types of relationships they would like to build with anthropomorphized brands, depending on their attributions about the exclusion. Specifically, consumers who blame themselves (others) for being socially excluded show greater preference for anthropomorphized partner (fling) brands (study 3).

Article

The effect of embarrassment on preferences for brand conspicuousness: The roles of self-esteem and self-brand connection

Xiaobing Song, Feifei Huang, & Xiuping Li. Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2017, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 69–83.

Xiaobing Song, Feifei Huang, & Xiuping Li. Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2017, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 69–83.

Three studies were conducted to examine how embarrassment influences consumer preferences for brand conspicuousness. We predict that consumers with different levels of self-esteem will have distinct coping strategies when they feel embarrassed, resulting in differences in their preference changes related to brand conspicuousness. The results show that when feeling embarrassed, consumers with low self-esteem (high self-esteem) are more likely to have increased motivation to avoid social attention to the self in general (to repair their self-image). Thus, relatively speaking, consumers with low self-esteem (high self-esteem) prefer a more conspicuous product design over a less conspicuous one to a lesser (greater) extent when they are embarrassed than when they are not embarrassed. In addition, we demonstrate that the interaction between self-esteem and embarrassment is more likely when consumers form a strong connection with the brand.

Article

Lasting performance: Round numbers activate associations of stability and increase perceived length of product benefits

Jorge Pena-Marin & Rajesh Bhargave. Journal of Consumer Psychology: July 2016, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 410-416.

Jorge Pena-Marin & Rajesh Bhargave. Journal of Consumer Psychology: July 2016, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 410-416.

Consumers prefer products that deliver benefits for a longer time. For instance, caffeinated drinks are consumed for energy, but the key characteristic that performs this benefit—caffeine—tends to wear off in its effects. How can marketers communicate the lasting performance of product characteristics? This work proposes that numbers used in conveying product characteristics—round (200 mg) or precise (203 mg)—influence consumers’ perception of lasting performance and product attitudes. More specifically, product characteristics described in round (vs. precise) numbers are perceived as performing for a longer time, and this effect is driven by a symbolic association between round numbers and stability. This finding is important because numbers are commonly used in conveying product benefits and past work has mainly documented the advantages of using precise numbers (e.g., higher competence), whereas less is known about when and why using round numbers boosts product attitudes. Three studies, including one with actual consumption, offer triangulating evidence for this prediction and its underlying psychological mechanism. Overall, this work contributes to research on product perception, numerical cognition, and persuasion.

Article

Testosterone at your fingertips: Digit ratios (2D:4D and rel2) as predictors of courtship-related consumption intended to acquire and retain mates

Marcelo Vinhal Nepomuceno, Gad Saad, Eric Stenstrom, Zack Mendenhall, & Fabio Iglesias. Journal of Consumer Psychology: April 2016, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 231-244.

The sweet taste of gratitude: Feeling grateful increases choice and consumption of sweets

Ann E. Schlosser. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 561-576.

Ann E. Schlosser. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 561-576.

Gratitude is a positive emotion experienced when a positive outcome is attributed to others. Though often regarded as a virtuous emotion, I argue that gratitude may have sweet side effects. Specifically, because gratitude involves acknowledging benefits received from the kind (or metaphorically sweet) actions of another, individuals may infer that they must be deserving of sweetness. As a result, they prefer foods with congruent – or sweet rather than nonsweet – tastes. If gratitude causes individuals to prefer sweets because they infer that they must be deserving of sweetness, then the effect should be strongest among those most likely to infer from a sweet act that they deserve sweetness, such as those who are psychologically connected to others (i.e., primed with interdependence or shared attributes). The results of six studies support these predictions. In particular, individuals selected more sweets and fewer non-sweet foods when primed to feel grateful than proud, a positive emotion experienced by attributing a positive outcome to the self. Furthermore, moderation and mediation support the cognition of deserving sweetness as the underlying mechanism.

Article

Tis better to give than receive? How and when gender and residence-based segments predict choice of donation- versus discount-based promotions

Karen Page Winterich, Robert E. Carter, Michael J. Barone, Ramkumar Janakiraman, & Ram Bezawada. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 622-634.

Karen Page Winterich, Robert E. Carter, Michael J. Barone, Ramkumar Janakiraman, & Ram Bezawada. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 622-634.

Donation promotions that tie product purchase to charitable contributions are common in the marketplace. Yet little is known about the sensitivity of different consumer segments to such promotions, particularly relative to traditional discount-based promotions. To address this void, the authors consider the extent to which consumers in traditional demographic segments based on gender and residence vary in their propensity to choose donation versus discount promotions. An experiment along with a field study using in-market data show that female and rural consumers exhibit higher choice probabilities for donation promotions than male and urban consumer segments. The experimental results also demonstrate that interdependence, at least in part, underlies the effect of these demographic and geographic segmentation variables on promotion choice. In addition to providing new theoretical insights involving interdependence and promotion choice, these results offer pragmatic guidance for managers targeting donation versus discount promotions to various consumer segments.

Article

Promotional phrases as questions versus statements: An influence of phrase style on product evaluation

Henrik Hagtvedt. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 635-641.

Henrik Hagtvedt. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 635-641.

This research investigates consumer responses to simple promotional phrases styled (i.e., framed) as questions versus statements and the moderating role of arousal. Study results indicate that under low arousal, questions have a more favorable influence on product evaluation than statements do; this influence is mediated by the perceived interestingness of the phrase. Under high arousal, the influence is reversed, and it is mediated by perceived clarity. The differential influence of phrase style (framing as question vs. statement) also extends to purchase behavior among consumers in a supermarket.

Article

Decoding the opening process

Yixia Sun, Yuansi Hou, Robert S. Wyer Jr. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 642-649.

Yixia Sun, Yuansi Hou, Robert S. Wyer Jr. Journal of Consumer Psychology: October 2015, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 642-649.

Five experiments confirmed the hypothesis that observing a box being opened is intrinsically rewarding and that the positive feelings it elicits can increase evaluations of its contents independently of the nature of these contents. Even though a product is already familiar, seeing it in a box being opened can elicit enjoyment and increase evaluations of it. This is true even when the cover of the box is transparent (and so its contents can be easily seen when the box is closed). Moreover, seeing a box being opened increases evaluations of the box even when the box is empty. When the contents of a box are unknown, opening the box can elicit surprise, polarizing evaluations of the product contained in it. When the product is already familiar, however, the opening process influences product evaluations through its impact on enjoyment.

Article

Perceived social support reduces the pain of spending money

Qian Xu, Yuanji Zhou, Maolin Ye, Xinyue Zhou. Journal of Consumer Psychology: April 2015, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 219-230.

Qian Xu, Yuanji Zhou, Maolin Ye, Xinyue Zhou. Journal of Consumer Psychology: April 2015, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 219-230.

People experience pain when they spend money. Because previous studies have shown that perceived social support reduces physical pain, this research examined whether perceived social support reduces spending pain. Our studies showed that both real and recalled social support reduced spending pain (Studies 1–3) and that perceived social support reduced the perceived importance of money as a protection mechanism, which in turn reduced spending pain (Studies 1 and 3). Moreover, the pain-buffering effect of social support was stronger for hedonic purchases than for utilitarian purchases (Study 2). This research broadens our understanding of the factors that enhance consumer experiences and the relationships among love, security, and pain.

Article

"I can almost taste it:” Why people with strong positive emotions experience higher levels of food craving, salivation and eating intentions

David J. Moore & Sara Konrath, Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2015, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 42-59.

David J. Moore & Sara Konrath, Journal of Consumer Psychology: January 2015, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 42-59.

The goal of this paper is to examine whether individual differences in affect intensity predict people’s responses to food advertisements. In doing so, we aim to uncover individual differences and situational factors that are associated with higher food cravings and other consumption-related responses. Studies 1 and 2 identified three mediators (emotional memories, weak impulse control, and the intensity of pleasure anticipation) which indirectly link affect intensity to food cravings and behavioral intentions. Studies 3 and 4 identified two moderators (vividness of advertisement, dieting status of participants) of the relationship between affect intensity and consumption-related outcomes. In Study 3 high affect intensity individuals reported stronger food cravings only in response to vivid advertising appeals. In Study 4, respondents with high levels of positive affectivity, a sub-dimension of affect intensity, experienced increased salivation, but especially when they were dieters exposed to vivid food images. Implications for theory development and for marketing and public policy strategists are discussed.

Article

Choosing Variety for Joint Consumption

Jordan Etkin. Journal of Marketing Research: December 2016, Vol. 53, No. 6, pp. 1019-1033.

Jordan Etkin. Journal of Marketing Research: December 2016, Vol. 53, No. 6, pp. 1019-1033.

Consumers often make choices for joint consumption with committed relationship partners, and these choices may include more or less variety. When planning a weekend for oneself and one’s spouse, for example, a person could choose more varied activities (e.g., going out to dinner, to a movie, and to a concert) or less varied activities (e.g., seeing several different movies). What might affect how much variety people choose? Five experiments demonstrate that how much variety consumers prefer for joint consumption in committed relationships depends on their relationship time perspective (i.e., the perceived time ahead in the relationship). When consumers perceive more (vs. less) time ahead in a committed relationship, they prefer more variety for joint consumption with their partners. This increased preference for variety is driven by a shift in how much excitement is valued within the relationship and is unique to choices for joint consumption with the specific relationship partner. The findings demonstrate that variety preferences depend not just on personal or situational factors but also on aspects of consumers’ social relationships.

Article

Shining Light on Atmospherics: How Ambient Light Influences Food Choices

Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs, Roger Chacko, & Brian Wansink. Journal of Marketing Research: January 2017, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 11-123.

Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs, Roger Chacko, & Brian Wansink. Journal of Marketing Research: January 2017, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 11-123.

Retail atmospherics is emerging as a major competitive tool, and it is especially notable in the restaurant industry, where lighting is used to create the overall ambience and influence consumer experience. In addition to influencing overall experience, can ambient light luminance have unintended consequences in terms of influencing what diners order? The results of a field study at multiple locations of a major restaurant chain and a series of lab studies robustly show that consumers tend to choose less healthy food options when ambient lighting is dim (vs. bright). Process evidence suggests that this phenomenon occurs because ambient light luminance influences mental alertness, which in turn influences food choices. While restaurant and grocery store managers can use these insights and their ambient light switches to nudge consumers toward targeted food choices, such as healthy or high-margin signature items, health-conscious consumers can opt for dining environments with bright ambient lighting.

Article

The Effects of Single-Serve Packaging on Consumption Closure and Judgments of Product Efficacy

Veronika Ilyuk & Lauren Block. Journal of Consumer Research: April 2016, Vol. 42, No. 6, pp. 858-878.

Veronika Ilyuk & Lauren Block. Journal of Consumer Research: April 2016, Vol. 42, No. 6, pp. 858-878.

Despite the prevalence of single-serve and multi-serve package formats in the pharmaceutical and functional food and beverage industries, prior research has yet to explore the effects of such package formats on consumers’ perceptions of product efficacy. Building on the resource availability, product packaging, and psychological closure literature, the authors demonstrate across seven studies that when processing capacity is low, consuming a particular serving/dosage of a product from a smaller resource inventory (i.e., the entirety of a single-serve package) may subjectively feel more adequate than consuming the same amount from a larger resource inventory (i.e., a multi-serve package, namely one in which additional servings/doses remain after consumption). Results indicate that differences in felt consumption closure underlie perceptions of product adequacy. Importantly, perceived product adequacy is shown to affect consumers’ actual product efficacy experiences (i.e., task performance), expectancies, and judgments. The implications of this research for marketers, consumers, and the public health community are discussed.

Article

Consumer Reactions to Attractive Service Providers: Approach or Avoid?

Lisa C. Wan & Robert S. Wyer, Jr. Journal of Consumer Research: December 2015, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 578-595.

Lisa C. Wan & Robert S. Wyer, Jr. Journal of Consumer Research: December 2015, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 578-595.

Attractive service providers are often assumed to elicit favorable consumer reactions and to increase purchase intentions. However, this may not always be true. A pilot study and five field and laboratory experiments show that when a self-presentation concern is made salient, consumers react less positively to highly attractive providers than to less attractive ones. This concern can be influenced by chronic social anxiety or can be aroused by unrelated experiences that consumers have before being exposed to the service interactions. In addition, it can be activated by the type of product being sold, that is, a product that is likely to cause embarrassment. Thus the attractiveness of a service provider can have either positive or negative effects on consumers’ reactions to a consumption experience and their consequent purchase intentions, depending on the type of product under consideration. These effects occur when the service provider is both of the opposite sex and the same sex. However, self-presentation concerns when an opposite-sex provider is attractive are driven by sexual motives, whereas these self-presentation concerns when a same-sex target is attractive are stimulated by social comparison processes.

Article

The Handmade Effect: What’s Love Got to Do with it?

Christoph Fuchs, Martin Schreier, & Stijn M.J. van Osselaer. Journal of Marketing: March 2015, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 98-110.

Christoph Fuchs, Martin Schreier, & Stijn M.J. van Osselaer. Journal of Marketing: March 2015, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 98-110.

Despite the popularity and high quality of machine-made products, handmade products have not disappeared, even in product categories in which machinal production is common. The authors present the first systematic set of studies exploring whether and how stated production mode (handmade vs. machine-made) affects product attractiveness. Four studies provide evidence for the existence of a positive handmade effect on product attractiveness. This effect is, to an important extent, driven by perceptions that handmade products symbolically “contain love.” The authors validate this love account by controlling for alternative value drivers of handmade production (effort, product quality, uniqueness, authenticity, and pride). The handmade effect is moderated by two factors that affect the value of love. Specifically, consumers indicate stronger purchase intentions for handmade than machine-made products when buying gifts for their loved ones but not for more distant gift recipients, and they pay more for handmade gifts when purchased to convey love than simply to acquire the best-performing product.

Article

Adjusting the Warm-Glow Thermostat: How Incentivizing Participation in Voluntary Green Programs Moderates their Impact on Service Satisfaction

Michael Giebelhausen, HaeEun Helen Chun, J. Joseph Cronin Jr., and G. Tomas M. Hult. Journal of Marketing: July 2016, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 56-71.

Michael Giebelhausen, HaeEun Helen Chun, J. Joseph Cronin Jr., and G. Tomas M. Hult. Journal of Marketing: July 2016, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 56-71.

In Study 1, the authors find that people are more satisfied with a service experience when they choose to participate in the provider’s voluntary green program (e.g., recycling)—an effect mediated by the “warm glow” of participation. The downside, however, is that this same mechanism decreases satisfaction among people who choose not to participate. In Study 2, analysis of data from the J.D. Power Guest Satisfaction Index suggests that incentivizing the program (i.e., compensating the program participants) paradoxically increases satisfaction for those who do not participate but decreases satisfaction among those who do. Studies 3 and 4 explore how manipulating incentive characteristics might enable managers to maximize satisfaction for both groups. Study 3 indicates that, compared with no incentive, an “other-benefiting” incentive increases warm glow and satisfaction for green program participants but decreases them among nonparticipants. Study 4, however, suggests that mixed incentive bundles (i.e., providing both self-benefiting and other-benefiting options) maximize warm glow and satisfaction for both groups—the ideal outcome for managers.

Article

Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Wealth: the Role of Marketing Capability

Saurabh Mishra and Sachin B. Modi. Journal of Marketing: January 2016, Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 26-46.

Saurabh Mishra and Sachin B. Modi. Journal of Marketing: January 2016, Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 26-46.

Despite the positive societal implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR), there remains an extensive debate regarding its consequences for firm shareholders. This study posits that marketing capability plays a complementary role in the CSR–shareholder wealth relationship. It further argues that the influence of marketing capability will be higher for CSR types with verifiable benefits to firm stakeholders (i.e., consumers, employees, channel partners, and regulators). An analysis utilizing secondary information for a large sample of 1,725 firms for the years 2000–2009 indicates that the effects of overall CSR efforts on stock returns and idiosyncratic risk are not significant on their own but only become so in the presence of marketing capability. Furthermore, the results reveal that although marketing capability has positive interaction effects with verifiable CSR efforts—environment (e.g., using clean energy), products (e.g., providing to economically disadvantaged), diversity (e.g., pursuing diversity in top management), corporate governance (e.g., limiting board compensation), and employees (e.g., supporting unions)—on stock returns (and negative interaction effects with these CSR efforts on idiosyncratic risk), it has no significant interaction effect with community-based efforts (e.g., charitable giving).

Article

Consumers’ Response to Commercials: When the Energy Level in the Commercial Conflicts with the Media Context

Nancy M. Puccinelli, Keith Wilcox, and Dhruv Grewal. Journal of Marketing: March 2015, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 1-18.

Nancy M. Puccinelli, Keith Wilcox, and Dhruv Grewal. Journal of Marketing: March 2015, Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 1-18.

This research examines how media-induced consumer activation level affects consumer response to highly energetic commercials. Over six studies, including a Hulu field experiment, the authors report that consumers who are experiencing a deactivating emotion (e.g., sadness induced by a movie) find it more difficult to watch highly energetic commercials compared with consumers who are not experiencing a deactivating emotion. As a result, consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion are less likely to watch highly energetic commercials and recall the advertiser compared with consumers who are not experiencing a deactivating emotion. The authors do not observe these effects when consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion watch commercials that are moderately energetic or when consumers do not experience a deactivating emotion. These findings suggest that when advertisers run commercials in a media context that induces a deactivating emotion (e.g., sadness, relaxation, contentment), they should avoid running highly energetic commercials (e.g., with upbeat, enthusiastic spokespeople). In addition, this research recommends that when advertisers are unable to determine the emotions induced by the media context, they should run commercials that are moderate in energy. The results of a meta-analysis across the present studies show that consumers experiencing a deactivating emotion will respond as much as 50% more favorably to moderately energetic commercials compared with highly energetic commercials.

Article

Light and Pale Colors in Food Packaging: When Does This Package Cue Signal Superior Healthiness or Inferior Tastiness?

Robert Mai, Claudia Symmank, & Berenike Seeberg-Elverfeldt. Journal of Retailing: December 2016, Vol. 92, No. 4, pp. 426-444.

Robert Mai, Claudia Symmank, & Berenike Seeberg-Elverfeldt. Journal of Retailing: December 2016, Vol. 92, No. 4, pp. 426-444.

In food packaging, light and pale colors are often used to highlight product healthiness. What has been largely overlooked is that this seemingly positive health cue may also convey another crucial piece of information. It is this paper’s premise that light-colored packages evoke two opposing effects: They stimulate favorable health impressions (health effect) and they activate detrimental taste inferences (taste effect) which jointly guide the purchase decision. To contribute to a better understanding of when this package cue is an asset or a liability, this research elucidates the boundary conditions under which the opposing effects operate. The unfavorable color-induced taste effect should be particularly dominant when (i) consumers have a strong need to make heuristic taste inferences (i.e., when tasting is not possible) and (ii) when health is not the overarching goal (e.g., for less health-conscious consumers). A series of experiments manipulating actual food packages confirms that the package health cue can indeed trigger negative taste associations in the consumer’s mind that backfire. Marketers therefore are advised to consider the identified contingencies carefully.

Article

Limited Edition for Me and Best Seller for You: The Impact of Scarcity versus Popularity Cues on Self versus Other-Purchase Behavior

Laurie Wu & Christopher Lee. Journal of Retailing: December 2016, Vo. 92, No. 4, pp. 486-499.

Laurie Wu & Christopher Lee. Journal of Retailing: December 2016, Vo. 92, No. 4, pp. 486-499.

In the online retailing context, we explore the impact of the consumption target on the relative effectiveness of scarcity versus popularity cues. Purchasing for oneself often triggers a need for uniqueness while purchasing for someone else is more uncertain and risky. We propose that the consumption target moderates the relative effectiveness of scarcity versus popularity cues in marketing promotions. Specifically, we predict that when purchasing for oneself, scarcity cues outperform popularity cues in eliciting purchase intentions, whereas when purchasing for someone else, popularity cues are more effective. In addition, we propose the serial mediation effect of perceived product uniqueness → perceived product value to explain the “scarcity for me” effect and the serial mediation effect of perceived consumption risk → perceived product value to explain the “popularity for others” effect. Further, we propose self-other overlap as a moderator of the “popularity for others” effect. Last but not least, we examine price level as a moderating factor of the proposed theory. Evidence from Google Trends analysis and four experimental studies across a variety of scenarios confirm the theorization. Based on our findings, we discuss theoretical contributions and managerial implications and suggest directions for future research.

Article

Alliteration Alters: Phonetic Overlap in Promotional Messages Influences Evaluations and Choice

Derick F. Davis, Rajesh Bagchi & Lauren G. Block. Journal of Retailing: March 2016, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 1-12.

Derick F. Davis, Rajesh Bagchi & Lauren G. Block. Journal of Retailing: March 2016, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 1-12.

Alliteration is the repetition of initial word sounds across two or more proximal words. Alliterative pricing presentations consisting of words (brand or product names) and numbers (price and quantity information) can influence evaluations, choice, and purchase behavior. We provide evidence that alliterative pricing promotions can positively influence deal evaluations and product choice; for example, “Two T-shirts $21” elicits more positive evaluations from consumers than does “Two T-shirts $19,” even though the latter pricing presentation is objectively better. We suggest phonological (word sound) overlap present in alliteration facilitates message processing, which in turn results in more positive judgments and deal evaluations and influences choice. Our findings build theory while presenting clear managerial implications for marketing communications and pricing decisions.

Article

Music Congruity Effects on Product Memory, Perception, and Choice

Adrian C. North, Lorraine P. Sheridan, & Charles S. Areni. Journal of Retailing: March 2016, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 83-95.

Adrian C. North, Lorraine P. Sheridan, & Charles S. Areni. Journal of Retailing: March 2016, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 83-95.

Music congruity effects on consumer behavior are conceptualized in terms of cognitive priming of semantic networks in memory, and operationalized as congruent with a product’s country of origin (Experiment 1), or congruent with the utilitarian (Experiment 2) or social identity (Experiments 2 and 3) connotations of a product. Hearing a specific genre of music (e.g., classical) activates related concepts in memory (e.g., expensive, sophisticated, formal, educated), which influences the memory for, perception of, and choice of products. Consistent with this account of music congruity effects, three laboratory experiments show that playing music of a specific genre during initial product exposure improved subsequent recall of conceptually related (i.e., congruent) products compared to unrelated products (Experiment 1), affected product choice in favor of congruent products (Experiment 1), and affected how much participants were willing to pay for congruent products (Experiments 2 and 3).

Article

On the Go: How Mobile Shopping Affects Customer Purchase Behavior

Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang, Edward C. Malthouse, & Lakshman Krishnamurthi. Journal of Retailing: June 2015, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 217-234.

Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang, Edward C. Malthouse, & Lakshman Krishnamurthi. Journal of Retailing: June 2015, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 217-234.

Mobile shopping (M-shopping) has become increasingly important in marketing and retailing. Using a unique dataset from an Internet-based grocery retailer, we evaluate changes in customers’ spending behavior upon adopting M-shopping, i.e., using smartphones or tablets to compose, modify, or place orders online. We find that order rate, i.e., number of orders placed per year, increases as customers adopt M-shopping. Especially for low-spending customers, both their order rate and order size, i.e., the amount of the order in dollars, increase as they become accustomed to M-shopping. In addition to the effect on customer’s spending behavior, we also find that M-shoppers tend to use mobile devices to shop for habitual products that they already have a history of purchasing. We propose that customers utilize mobile devices because the technology provides convenient access, which leads them to incorporate M-shopping into their habitual routines. Managerially, we recommend that firms should fully leverage their mobile platforms, but they should also keep in mind that mobile devices may not be the most optimal channel for launching new products or promoting products that require more consideration during the buying process.

Article