Publications

  • Uta Schwarz, Stefan Hoffmann, Katharina Hutter
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    ABSTRACT: Free full text: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/u43kyyRye3AbAQV5eqDD/full ....... Recent meta-analytical findings in advertising research contradict the assumption of gender-specific humor evaluations. This article suggests an interaction effect of gender and humor type to resolve the contradiction. An online experiment with 266 respondents examines how gender moderates the influence of different humor types in print ads on advertising effectiveness. The study reveals gender-free as well as gender-specific effects. Both men and women favor comic wit over sentimental comedy and satire. However, male respondents evaluate satire humor more positively than female respondents, whereas women prefer sentimental comedy more than men do. Based on the results, implications for practitioners and researchers are derived.
    01/2015; 36:70-87. DOI:10.1080/10641734.2014.912599
  • Liliya Iskhakova, Andreas Hilbert, Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: Alumni could be considered as large source of support for their almamaters in such areas as lobbying, volunteering (e.g. mentoring), information, donating, investment and networking. However, in order to increase alumni contribution it is necessary to identify key factors influencing on alumni loyalty. In this article, the authors developed a hybrid intention alumni loyalty (HIAL) model which proposes that alumni loyalty is determined by the main model dimensions of relationship quality, philanthropic effect, discretionary collaborative and student drop-out behavior. In order to validate the proposed model structure, the authors test the HIAL-model using the structural equation modelling approach and empirical data from a survey of both leading German and Russian full universities. Among other things, the results indicate that the predisposition to charity, benefits from alumni-association and quality of teaching, are crucial for intention to alumni loyalty for both Russian and German universities. Suggestions for the work of alumni associations are derived from the findings.
    Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing 01/2015; forthcoming.
  • Robert Mai, Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: The goal conflict between short-term indulgence and long-term health considerations is at the heart of unhealthy food choices, and thus, a key contributor to growing adiposity prevalence. Policy makers often attempt to promote healthy eating behaviors by raising consumers’ health consciousness. Given that previous health campaigns have fallen short of expectations, this article examines the potential of health consciousness to resolve the so-called unhealthy = tasty intuition (UTI). Study 1 explores whether health consciousness attenuates belief in the UTI and its detrimental consequences for food choice and body mass. Study 2 applies the Implicit Association Test to disentangle the intuition’s implicit and explicit processes. Results show that health consciousness operates only via cognitively controlled processes. Using real food products, Study 3 analyzes how health consciousness colors the influence of composition and labeling on tastiness and healthiness perceptions. The studies jointly demonstrate that the UTI partly works implicitly and independently of health consciousness. Hence, the obesity epidemic should be addressed through concerted actions that include policy makers’ health communication and the food industry’s product development.
    Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 01/2015; forthcoming. DOI:10.1509/jppm.14.006 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Katharina Hutter, Stefan Hoffmann, Robert Mai
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    ABSTRACT: The call for business practices that create benefits for companies, customers, and society is get-ting louder. This article analyzes a new implementation of such a win/win/win-approach: the car-rotmob. Activists and managers jointly organize a shopping flashmob in which consumers collec-tively purchase the products of a target company to reward its intent to act more socially respon-sible. Given that carrotmobs are only efficient if they are supported by a critical mass of consum-ers, a survey study (337 young consumers) explores the critical drivers of carrotmob participation. Accordingly, object-oriented, personal, and social motives jointly determine carrotmob participa-tion with social motives having the strongest impact.
    Business & Society 01/2015; forthcoming. · 1.94 Impact Factor
  • Thomas Niemand, Stefan Hoffmann, Robert Mai
    09/2014; 36(3):187-202. DOI:10.15358/0344-1369_2014_3_187
  • Carolin Krautz, Stefan Hoffmann, Robert Mai
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    ABSTRACT: Die Forschung zur Konsumentenanimosität belegt, dass Konsumenten Produkte aufgrund von feindseligen Abneigungen gegenüber dem Herkunftsland gezielt ablehnen. Da dies Unternehmen, die in ausländischen Absatzmärkten operieren, vor Herausforderungen stellt, untersuchte die Marketing-Forschung in den letzten Jahren intensiv, unter welchen Umständen sich Feindseligkeiten auf die Wahrnehmung und das Verhalten von Konsumenten auswirken. Die vorliegende Literaturanalyse stellt den aktuellen Wissensstand dar. Dazu werden 44 einschlägige, empirische Forschungsbeiträge anhand wichtiger Kriterien wie Antezedenzen und Verhaltenskonsequenzen sowie Moderatoren und Anwendungsfällen des Animositätseffekts aufgearbeitet. Nach einer kritischen inhaltlichen und methodischen Würdigung des Forschungsstandes stellt der Beitrag einen Ansatz vor, der die zentralen Probleme der mangelnden theoretischen Fundierung und der Vernachlässigung sozialer Einflüsse überwinden soll. Das vorgeschlagene, theoretisch untermauerte Schwellenwertmodell betrachtet erstmalig neben der individuellen Animosität auch den sozialen Animositätskontext. Darauf aufbauend werden Direktiven für die zukünftige Forschung und Implikationen für die Unternehmenspraxis abgeleitet. Abstract Research on consumer animosity indicates that consumers reject products because they hold hostile attitudes towards the products’ country of origin. As companies operating in foreign markets are facing serious challenges, marketing research has focused on the mechanisms by which animosity influences consumer perception and behavior. The present article reviews 44 relevant empirical studies to illustrate antecedents, moderators, and behavioral consequences of the animosity effect. The analysis reveals a lack of a sound theoretical foundation and it shows that prior studies disregard social influences. To overcome this gap, the present article develops a theory-driven model which suggests that the social animosity context interacts with feelings of animosity at an individual level. Based on this new approach, directions for future research and managerial implication are discussed.
    06/2014; 64(3):125-155. DOI:10.1007/s11301-014-0102-z
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    ABSTRACT: With the steady rise of the adiposity epidemic, there are increasing calls to stimulate healthier food choices. This is difficult, however, because consumers hold the nearly universal belief that healthy foods are less tasty. To increase their attractiveness, optimizing certain health-unrelated food attributes may help compensate for the loss in taste that is caused by the reduction of fat or sugar. The overall objective of this paper is to examine the boundary conditions under which such compensation effects emerge. Using the example of cookies, we examine how compensation effects depend on (i) the consumer segment, (ii) the configuration of the food product, and (iii) the type of evaluation process. This paper empirically tests compensation effects for optimized flavor intensity. We apply a combination of adaptive conjoint analysis and sensory preference tests. Market simulations and sensitivity analyses demonstrate that the intricate interplay among the three contingency variables is far more important than the question of whether compensation effects emerge or not. The analyses uncover four distinct segments and they show that compensation effects depend on which type of health-related attribute is reduced and whether the health-unrelated attribute is improved intrinsically or extrinsically.
    Appetite 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.05.014 · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Katharina Hutter, Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: Ambient media evoke surprise with the aim of gaining the attention of consumers who are overexposed to traditional types of advertising. No study has yet considered the effects of unanticipated ambient media. To bridge this gap, the present article reports a field experiment entailing the manipulation of three types of ambient media that create different levels of surprise. The analysis combines observation data for 2,464 passersby, survey data from 305 respondents, and sales figures for 730 days. The results show that surprising ambient media draw attention, promote positive attitudes toward the ad, and stimulate word of mouth. Most importantly, ambient media increase purchase intention and sales revenue. Robustness checks ensure that the model is stable across several conditions, such as time of day or weather conditions. Follow-up studies further reveal that surprise elicits positive effects via two processes; the amplification of accompanying evaluations and the interplay of attention and incongruence resolution. The paper provides guidance for retailers wishing to design surprising ambient media that improve consumer attitudes and profitability.
    Journal of Retailing 03/2014; 90(1):93-110. DOI:10.1016/j.jretai.2013.08.001 · 2.75 Impact Factor
  • Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: In many countries, the number of consumers who participate in boycotts has been increasing during the last decades. Boycotts can have a significant negative impact on firms because they impair sales figures, corporate reputation and stock prices. In this study, we theorise and empirically confirm that national culture determines the likelihood of consumer boycotts. Thus, our paper helps guide firms to international markets where there is less risk of boycott activity. Our analysis reveals that many cultural dimensions strongly co–vary with boycott prevalence. In particular, the risk of consumer boycotts rises with the practical scores of in–group collectivism. The paper outlines avenues for further research and provides multinational companies with guidelines to help predict boycott prevalence in the targeted markets.
    European J of International Management 03/2014; 8(2):141-159. DOI:10.1504/EJIM.2014.059580 · 0.47 Impact Factor
  • Robert Mai, Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: Today's business interactions are characterized by encounters between people with diverse language backgrounds. This article examines how, why and under what circumstances regional or foreign speech patterns affect consumer judgments and reactions. Building on a synthesis of accent research and theories, including the work of related disciplines such as linguistics and social psychology, this article suggests an integrative model that helps to understand accent effects in business contexts. The model disentangles the effects of social categorization, stereotype activation, and speech processing that jointly influence different business-related outcomes. The model highlights three categories of factors that moderate these accent effects, namely sender, receiver, and communication variables. The paper further identifies several issues which remain unresolved and which require continued research. An agenda for future research sets out several propositions to help researchers approach regional and foreign accents in business environments.
    Journal of Consumer Psychology 01/2014; 24(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jcps.2013.09.004 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Link to full-text: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042814039263/1-s2.0-S1877042814039263-main.pdf?_tid=5db149ae-b607-11e4-8807-00000aacb362&acdnat=1424110528_cdc7360047409ba7fab54335ee67494f Humor preferences depend on the cultural background of the respondents. Designers of international advertising campaigns thus need to know how to adapt ads to the target market. The present paper runs two studies to test (1) whether marketers actually adapt the type of humor to the culture of the target market and (2) whether different types of humor elicit different effects in different cultures. Both studies use the example of Germany and Spain for cross-cultural comparisons. Study 1 analyzes 418 Spanish and 748 German print advertisements. The results indicate that marketers apply humor in Spain more frequently than in Germany. The type of humor differs across the two countries: Comic wit which builds on incongruent elements is more frequent in Germany (low-context, individualistic, masculine culture) than in Spain (high-context, collectivistic, feminine culture) while Spanish ads contain more sentimental humor. This humor type transports warmly messages without including incongruent messages. Study 2 examines whether the cultural dimensions of individualism and femininity affect attitude towards sentimental humor ads and sentimental comedy ads. The latter type of humor combines warm elements with the principle of incongruity- resolution. The study shows that Spanish respondents rate sentimental humor significantly more positive than German respondents. In contrast, German subjects evaluate sentimental comedy most positive. Implications for managers and future research are derived.
    Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 01/2014; 148:94-101. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.022
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    ABSTRACT: Food selection at a particular occasion is guided by properties of the food itself (sensory or intrinsic properties), but also by the information provided with the food, for example, packaging information (extrinsic properties). We compared preference responses of 71 consumers with a considerable type 2 diabetes risk, who had undergone nutrition counseling in a prevention program, in sensory assessments and product evaluation integrated into Adaptive Conjoint Analysis with the response of a healthy control group (n = 101). Vanilla yogurt, varied in composition (fat content, sugar content, flavor intensity) and packaging information (fat content, sugar content, flavor intensity), was used as stimulus material. Both groups of consumers preferred yogurt with a higher fat content on the basis of sensory evaluation, but rejected products with a higher fat content (10 g/100 g) when this information was available on the package. The degree of rejection was significantly higher for the high risk group. Whereas both groups preferred reduced-sugar yogurt on the basis of declaration, preferences towards the less sweet product were only observed for the high risk group.
    Food Quality and Preference 01/2014; 31(1):65-68. DOI:10.1016/j.foodqual.2013.08.001 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines how implicit processes shape consumer’s food decision making. A series of three empirical studies combines questionnaire data with the Implicit Association Test to demonstrate that the effect of nutrition self-efficacy on behavioral intentions and eating behavior is moderated by food associations that are activated automatically and unconsciously. The Main Study provides evidence that consumers with a low ability to adopt a healthy diet behave according to their self-efficacy if implicit associations are negatively connoted (e.g., “healthy food products are less tasty”). A mediated moderation model shows that the interaction effect exerts its influence via intentions to adopt a healthy diet. Replication Study A confirms that this interaction effect even shapes the consumption patterns of at-risk consumers who have received nutritional counseling. Study B confirms the moderating role of implicit associations in a different setting and for different implicit associations. The article reveals that solely increasing consumer’s self-efficacy will not result in substantial changes towards a more healthy diet. By addressing implicit processes, food producers and policy makers can improve the effectiveness of their efforts to induce changes in consumers’ food consumption patterns.
    Food Quality and Preference 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.06.014 · 2.73 Impact Factor
  • Stefan Hoffmann, Julia Schlicht
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has mainly focused on consumers' environmental values and attitudes to explain green consumption. However, it has been neglected how situational factors like the way a consumer is affected by the impacts of environmental pollution influence environmental attitudes and the demand for organic food products. To fill this void, we firstly introduce a taxonomy of different types of factual concernment and perceived concern. Factual concernment describes the manner in which a person is affected by the negative consequences of environmental pollution, whereas perceived concern expresses an anxious sense of interest. Building on that taxonomy, an experimental study analyses how four types of factual concernment (direct vs. indirect; material vs. immaterial) influence consumers' perceived concerns (in terms of environmental and health concern) as well as the readiness to gather information, the readiness to make sacrifices, the willingness to pay higher prices and purchase intentions. The study reveals that particularly direct concernment fosters the consumption of organic food. However, the study did not find any differences between the influences of material and immaterial concernment on the organic food purchase decision.
    International IJC 11/2013; 37(6). DOI:10.1111/ijcs.12044 · 0.66 Impact Factor
  • Stefan Hoffmann
    The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 10/2013; 21(4):371-388. DOI:10.2753/MTP1069-6679210402
  • Stefan Hoffmann, Robert Mai, Anamaria Cristescu
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    ABSTRACT: Survey data are frequently distorted by answering tendencies, such as acquiescence, disacquiescence, midpoint and extreme response style. Cross-cultural research projects may be particularly vulnerable to misinterpretations. This paper provides empirical insights into the manner and degree to which culture systematically distorts findings from survey data. The study is based on data from 1027 respondents from Austria, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Russia, Spain, and the United States. The investigation firstly demonstrates that Hofstede's and project GLOBE's cultural dimensions explain variations in response styles across different countries. Secondly, and most importantly, the paper explores the impact of culture-dependent response styles on findings. Remarkably, the extent of distortion in correlation analysis and mean comparisons is less severe than expected. Nonetheless, cross-cultural researchers would be well advised to control at least for (dis-)acquiescence before analyzing and interpreting their data.
    International Business Review 10/2013; 22(5-5):814-827. DOI:10.1016/j.ibusrev.2013.01.008 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Katharina Hutter, Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: The carrotmob—often defined as an inverse boycott—is a new, fast-diffusing form of pro-environmental consumption focusing on societal issues. Organized by activists, consumers swarm a predefined store and collectively buy its products. In return, the company engages in pro-environmental actions. This is the first study that empirically analyzes consumer attitudes toward carrotmob and participation intention. The article compares the drivers of carrotmob and anticonsumption (e.g., ecological consumer boycotts). Both forms of consumer activism are triggered by ecological concern. However, carrotmobbing differs because participants do not have to sacrifice their preferred consumption patterns. Study 1 (n = 437) demonstrates that willingness to make sacrifices moderates the impact of ecological concern on attitudes toward the carrotmob. Study 2 (n = 153) establishes external validity by modifying the carrotmob target. As expected, the carrotmob is an alternative consumption option attractive for consumers unwilling to make sacrifices in expressing their environmental concerns.
    Journal of Macromarketing 08/2013; 33(3):217-231. · 1.14 Impact Factor
  • Stefan Hoffmann
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    ABSTRACT: Previous models of boycott motivation are incomplete because they only consider beliefs and attitudes. This article argues that consumers' proximity to the consequences of the critical actions of a company is the primary trigger of the desire to boycott. As consumers need to justify this desire, they search for supportive arguments. Thus, the arguments consumers give to explain why they are boycotting or not are pre-decisional rationalizations rather than independent rational considerations. Consequently, the paper suggests that scholars need to respecify the antecedents identified in prior studies. These constructs are mediator variables of the indirect influence of proximity on boycott participation. The paper tests the assumptions on the basis of survey data gathered from 544 consumers using the example of a real boycott that was called in response to factory relocation. The model proposed was tested by means of partial least squares regression analysis. The mediation hypotheses were examined using simple and multiple mediation tests. The empirical study confirms that boycott motives are mainly rationalizations of a pre-existing desire to boycott, which is contingent on proximity. Managerial implications and avenues for further research are proposed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    05/2013; 12(3-3):214-222. DOI:10.1002/cb.1418
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    ABSTRACT: Reduction of energy in foods by eliminating sugar, combined with an increase in fiber, frequently results in products with sensory characteristics that cannot be compared with standard counterparts. This study analyzed the response of young educated consumers (n = 704) on standard or reduced-sugar vanilla yogurt enriched with inulin or with inulin combined with a grain mixture, a milled mixture of flakes, or a combination of grains and milled flakes. On a nine-point hedonic scale, mean acceptance was 6.4 and 6.8 for yogurt with 112 g kg−1 and 160 g kg−1 sugar, respectively. It was concluded from acceptance data and from results obtained by just-about-right rating that adapting the flavoring concentration might be an appropriate tool to mask sugar reduction. In yogurt with visible fiber, it is mainly the size of incorporated fiber that should be considered in product optimization. In these products, sugar content significantly affects acceptance.
    International Dairy Journal 01/2013; 28(1-1):1-7. DOI:10.1016/j.idairyj.2012.08.005 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unternehmen, die mehrere Ländermärkte bearbeiten, stehen vor der Herausforderung, ihren Marketing-Mix an Kunden mit unterschiedlichen Wertvorstellungen anzupassen. Die interkulturelle Konsumentenforschung soll diesen Anpassungsprozess unterstützen und sucht deshalb nach Erklärungsansätzen zur Kultur(un)gebundenheit des Kaufverhaltens. Dieser Beitrag zielt darauf ab, anhand einer aktuellen Literaturanalyse zu klären, wie sich die Forschungsdisziplin in den Jahren von 2005 bis 2010 weiterentwickelt hat. 92 einschlägige Studien werden hinsichtlich ihres Forschungsansatzes, der Auswahl der Kultureinheiten, der Operationalisierung von Kultur und der betrachteten Form des Konsumentenverhaltens systematisch analysiert. Es zeigt sich, dass Quantität und Breite der interkulturellen Konsumentenforschung zunahmen und dass methodische Probleme teils überwunden werden konnten. Aufbauend auf der Literaturanalyse verdichtet dieser Beitrag die zentralen Erkenntnisse der Forschung im Betrachtungszeitraum und leitet Direktiven für die zukünftige Forschung ab.
    Journal für Betriebswirtschaft 01/2013; 63(1):45-83. DOI:10.1007/s11301-012-0090-9

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