Marketing Letters

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Online ISSN: 1573-059X
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Article
In this article, we argue that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) challenge established marketing understanding of digital ownership, uniqueness, and value; authenticity, status, and sharing; and branding and distribution. We propose a set of preliminary research questions rooted in these areas, in hopes of offering entry points to future programmatic investigation of the broader field of “crypto-marketing.” This emerging subdiscipline offers opportunities to expand our understanding of consumer behavior, pricing, and product design and may be crucial in predicting the future of our discipline as NFTs further evolve.
 
Article
While cash will eventually become a thing of the past, marketing researchers have given little attention to the rise of cashless markets and the obstacles and opportunities they present. In fact, research that addresses the strategic approach to planning, coordinating, and executing the cashless adoption and experience for consumers is scant. To stimulate discussion and scholarly investigations into marketing’s contribution toward the evolution of cashless economies, this Idea Corner presents a research agenda that delineates the role of DPS 2.0, a new era of digital payment systems, in fueling the demonetization process. We offer that, compared to traditional payment systems (DPS 1.0), DPS 2.0 provides consumers and merchants cashless, virtual, automated, flexible, faster, and interoperable (The ability of DPS 2.0 systems to be compatible and operable across providers, software, and payment portals) means of payment. However, the promise of DPS 2.0 is clouded with concerns of opportunism, security, and fraud. This paper outlines these issues and provides corresponding future research opportunities within five areas of DPS 2.0 (digital wallets, cryptocurrency, virtual currency, facial recognition, and mobile payments).
 
Number of groups per player
Scatter plot of Ja Morant circulation and price
Average effects for different levels of popularity
Article
I measure the impact of rarity on price. The main challenge is that usually rarity is positively correlated with quality. In addition, sometimes price also affects rarity. To overcome these difficulties, I study an NBA digital collectibles market called NBA Top Shot where those concerns are well addressed. By analyzing novel and rich data sets, I find that the elasticity of price with respect to circulation (reverse rarity) is −0.74 on average. I also find that less popular products are more elastic than more popular products are.
 
Conceptual framework
Article
Consumers increasingly collaborate with the company and other consumers across various phases of firm's new product development (pre-launch activities through ideation, design, and testing) and after-launch marketing process (post-launch activities through promotion, pricing distribution, and maintenance). The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing consumer participation in firm's pre-and post-launch co-creation. We propose that company-led efforts through enhanced knowledge sharing with consumers and perceived equity lead to effective dialogical interactions between company and consumers and among consumers, leading to a higher level of consumer participation in both pre-and post-launch co-creation. The proposed model is empirically tested by structural equation modeling using survey data from online video game players, a context rich in consumer co-creation. We find that consumer-to-consumer interaction enhances consumer participation in both pre-launch and post-launch, while business-to-consumer interaction enhances consumer participation only in pre-launch but not in post-launch.
 
The effect of narrative versus factual information (experiment 1)
The effect of narrative versus factual information (experiment 3)
Article
Our study aims to examine how narrative information influences consumers’ perceived persuasiveness of secondhand product information. We conducted three experiments. The results show that narrative information leads to higher perceived persuasiveness when secondhand products are for self-use and lower perceived persuasiveness when secondhand products are not for self-use (studies 1, 2, and 3). Furthermore, its effect is mediated by reactance (studies 1 and 3). Our study contributes to the literature by clarifying the effect of narrative information on online secondhand shopping. For sellers, our study highlights how information dealing with usage-based attributes should be presented. For consumers, our study emphasizes important aspects of information to pay attention to.
 
Article
Language is an integral part of marketing. Consumers share word of mouth, salespeople pitch services, and advertisements try to persuade. Further, small differences in wording can have a big impact. But while it is clear that language is both frequent and important, how can we extract insight from this new form of data? This paper provides an introduction to the main approaches to automated textual analysis and how researchers can use them to extract marketing insight. We provide a brief summary of dictionaries, topic modeling, and embeddings, some examples of how each approach can be used, and some advantages and limitations inherent to each method. Further, we outline how these approaches can be used both in empirical analysis of field data as well as experiments. Finally, an appendix provides links to relevant tools and readings to help interested readers learn more. By introducing more researchers to these valuable and accessible tools, we hope to encourage their adoption in a wide variety of areas of research.
 
Number of removed products and market concentration
The relationship between product removal and market concentration
Histogram of product removal
Article
The relationship between innovation and competition has been vastly studied over the past fifty years. However, one piece of the puzzle that has not been studied in detail is how in certain industries competition has an effect in the number of products that are removed from the market. That is why in this paper, I use scanner data to analyze the effect of competition on product removal. In particular, I track sales in the beer industry across a set of 1107 over a period of four years. Following previous studies, I use the merger between SABMiller and Molson Coors as an unexpected change in the industry to estimate future market concentration. I find that there is a negative relationship between removal and concentration. Therefore, retailers decide to remove products from their shelves in a faster way when the market is more competitive to open the gates for a more dynamic assortment.
 
Conceptual framework
Magnitude of driver effects: simulation of earnings per hour. Notes: We simulated the base scenario by setting all variables to their sample mean and extending the time frame from 10 min to 1 h. The average hourly earnings of a musician were calculated on the basis of insights from our interviews that an average single donation is 50 cents. We then changed only one of the main drivers while keeping all other factors constant. For metric variables, we increased the focal variable by 100%. For non-metric variables, we set the focal category to 1. For variables measured on a 7-point scale, we increased the variable by one point on the scale
Article
The street music business dates back hundreds of years and exists in many cities of the world. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of listeners who donate varies widely, academic research has not examined why listeners donate to buskers. An intensive field study covering 80,471 consumers assessed the relevance and magnitude of theoretically derived drivers. A second study investigated the degree to which offline success factors predict consumer responses to buskers performing on online video platforms. Estimation results reveal several drivers, many of which differ from musicians’ commonly held beliefs. This study contributes not only to the marketing of buskers but also to marketing of other businesses that engage in fundraising in public spaces.
 
Article
Four studies demonstrate that people are more likely to buy (but not to buy more) when directly asked how much to buy in response to a set of purchase quantities (0, 1, 2 … n) than when first asked whether to buy in response to a seemingly innocuous yes/no purchase-interest question. This finding is explained in terms of response-scale partitioning. A purchase-quantity scale has a single negative (0) and multiple (n) positive response options. In contrast, a dichotomous yes/no purchase-interest question has an equal proportion of negative (“no”) and positive (“yes”) response options, the latter of which subsumes all positive quantity options into one partition. Ascertaining purchase interest using a single negative and multiple positive response options (“no,” “mildly,” “somewhat,” “likely,” “very,” and “definitely”) eliminated the effect.
 
The phrases indicative of crowdfunding success and failure. a Funding success. b Funding failure
Article
As crowdfunding has emerged as a popular source of funding for new ventures, budding entrepreneurs often struggle to deliver a convincing pitch to attract backers. We adopt an n-gram language model to analyze narratives of over 21,000 film projects from Kickstarter and find that the choice of words is critical to crowdfunding success. Using penalized logistic regression, we identify the relative power of phrases to predict funding outcome, resulting in a dramatic reduction in error rate. Consistent with the language expectancy theory, the linguistic analyses show that successful projects usually include words that reflect the credibility of project creators and meaningful social interactions, whereas failed projects exude negativism or uncertainty. While good word choices vary among movie genres, words of lower cognitive complexity dampen the chances of funding. These findings have broad implications for text analysis and natural language generation for persuasive marketing communications.
 
Plot between SCs and effect of satisfaction on loyalty
Article
The extant retail research has placed much emphasis on understanding customer switching and the concept of switching costs (SCs). However, the empirical evidence is inconclusive with respect to the moderating role of SCs in general and relational switching costs (RSCs) in particular. Therefore, this research focuses on the moderating role played by SCs on the satisfaction-loyalty link. Specifically, our study attempts to clarify the nonlinear moderating effect of RSCs. Furthermore, we investigate RSCs in greater depth, considering their two dimensions, brand relationship loss costs (BRLCs), and personal relationship loss costs (PRLCs). We find that there is an optimal level of BRLC whereas increasing PRLCs decreases the impact of satisfaction on loyalty in a linear manner, calling for a more nuanced assessment of this type of SC in future studies. Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of SCs as a retention strategy.
 
Article
We empirically examine the cross-media effects of personalized and mass media on consumers’ purchase incidence in a multichannel shopping environment. We capture the cross-media effect as the combined impact of two distinct marketing communications on consumers’ purchase behavior. Our data consists of individual-level transaction data and information on consumers’ exposure to multiple marketing media consisting of personalized (catalog and email) and mass (television and radio) media. We find that personalized (mass) media are more influential in driving consumers’ online (offline) purchases in a multichannel shopping environment. Our analysis of cross-media effects reveals synergistic (attenuating) effects between media components across (within) personalized and mass media. Furthermore, our examination of media elasticities demonstrates that discounting such cross-media effects between personalized and mass media components can bias a firm’s assessment of the effectiveness of media components in a multichannel-multimedia marketing environment. Results from our model can help marketing managers in the optimal planning of integrated marketing communication in a multichannel-multimedia shopping environment.
 
Sequential mediation analysis: The impact of self-construal on consumers’ emotional responses toward deceptive advertising via internal attribution and lie acceptability (Study 1). Note: * p < .05, *** p < .001
A Johnson-Neyman analysis: Conditional effect of self-construal on lie acceptability at different levels of firm size (Study 3). B The interaction effect of self-construal and firm size on purchase intention (Study 3)
Article
Deceptive advertising, or advertising that intends to mislead consumers by false claims or incomplete disclosure, is ubiquitous in the marketplace. Though prior research has shown that consumers generally view companies’ deceptive communication as unethical and react to it negatively, anecdotal evidence suggests that some consumers are more accepting of such misleading tactics than others. Delving deeper into this phenomenon, this research examines the role of self-construal on consumers’ responses toward deceptive advertising. Three studies provide converging evidence that interdependent (vs. independent) consumers are more tolerant of deceptive advertising, which is mediated by their attribution styles. Moreover, we further demonstrate the self-construal effect on lie acceptability decreases as the firm becomes smaller, when it is easier for consumers to pinpoint who should be responsible for the misconduct and thus are more likely to make internal attribution.
 
Influence of sound frequency on visual attention towards hats with different color lightness (study 1). a Elimination (click) stage. b Choice (purchase) stage
Interaction of sound frequency, color lightness, and involvement (study 2). a Elimination (click) stage. b Choice (purchase) stage
Illustration of the timeline and design of study 3. Note: The differences between the music designs of the two platforms existed only in the post-treatment period. Specifically, both platforms were assigned “no music” during the pre-treatment period (i.e., weeks 1–2). During the post-treatment period, the treatment platform was assigned “high-frequency music” (i.e., weeks 4–5) or “low-frequency music” (i.e., weeks 3 and 6) on a weekly basis, while the control platform was assigned “no music” yet (i.e., weeks 3–6)
Platforms used to conduct the field experiment. a The control platform. b The treatment platform. Note: Music was played only for PC customers. We thus collected data only from PC customers. In addition, there is no music stop/pause button on the platforms during the whole experimental period
Pages used to display products in elimination and choice stages. a The elimination stage. b The choice stage. Note: All products (with a product picture, the price, and a description) at the platform would be exposed to consumers when they visited the platform (the elimination stage). If a consumer was interested in a product, she/he would click on the product and be led to the landing page of the product’s page to learn about the details (e.g., size information, materials) of the product (the choice stage). Both platforms display the product pictures on the left and details of the product on the right and bottom of the page. If the consumers took an action to purchase, a conversion was recorded
Article
In this research, we explore the impacts of cross-modal correspondence between sound frequency and color lightness on consumers’ shopping behavior. Compared to previous studies that relied on a stable single-stage information environment, our study is based on a two-stage (i.e., elimination and choice stages) cognitive model to account for the dynamic cross-modal correspondence effect on shopping behavior. After conducting two laboratory experiments and one field experiment, we find that although consumers tend to pay more attention to light (vs. dark) products in the high (vs. low)-frequency sound condition in the elimination stage, this effect is less salient at the choice stage. We further find that consumer involvement acts as a moderator. Specifically, the correspondence effect is attenuated for highly involved consumers.
 
Effects of ritual and purchase motivation in Study 3
The mediating effect of mindfulness in Study 3. Note: * indicates p < .05, a indicates a significant mediation effect
Article
The present research examines whether and how new brands can use rituals to establish consumer connections at the initiation stage of the consumer–brand relationship. Although many brands attempt to use rituals to achieve a special standing in consumers’ mind, little is known about the mechanism through which rituals affect consumers’ responses to brands, particularly when consumers encounter a new brand or product. We propose that ritualistic behaviors enhance consumers’ connections with, and purchase intention for, a new brand through mindfulness, and that the behavioral dimension of rituals plays a critical role. Moreover, we propose consumers’ purchase motivation as the moderator, such that the effects of rituals on new brands are mitigated when purchase motivation is utilitarian (vs. hedonic). We present convergent evidence for the hypotheses across one field experiment and two actual product consumption experiments. These findings contribute to several streams of marketing research and offer actionable managerial implications for companies.
 
Article
Consumers are increasingly turning towards regional products (RP). The Consumer Ethnocentric Scale (CETSCALE) has been widely used to examine consumer motives for buying national and RPs. However, recent studies highlight that the CETSCALE alone does not adequately explain consumers’ intention to purchase RPs. This study adopted a mixed-method approach to provide an in-depth understanding of consumers’ motivations to buy RPs. A preliminary qualitative study based on twenty semi-structured interviews with German consumers, followed by two surveys, enabled the validation of a scale including three main drivers of consumers’ decision to purchase RPs: perceived eco-friendliness, superior quality, and territorial identity. The newly built Regional Scale (i.e., REGIOSCALE) and the CETSCALE were used to assess their explanatory power of consumers’ decision to purchase RPs. The findings reveal that the REGIOSCALE has a more substantial explanatory power of consumer decision to buy RPs than the CETSCALE.
 
a Least squares means of purchase amount when buyers received an offer with an organic cue. b Least squares means of purchase amount when buyers received an offer without an organic cue
Product photos included in experiment stimuli in presence (left photo) vs. absence (right photo) conditions of green packaging color
Article
A long-lasting debate in marketing literature is whether retail buyers who purchase consumer products behave like consumers or like industrial purchasing managers. We address this question empirically, by focusing on retail buyers’ behavioral responses to price discounts. Cooperating with a national wholesaler of drugstore products, we conduct a field experiment on the wholesaler’s product ordering platform. We expose the retail buyers ( n = 780) to a new product offer that either includes a price discount or not. Simultaneously, we vary peripheral cues included in the offer (package color and organic claim). The results support the “industrial buyer resemblance” argument: The price discount decreases the retail buyers’ purchase likelihood, and there is no significant interaction effect between the price discount and the peripheral cues. An additional qualitative study reveals that retail buyers speculate on the motivations behind the price discount, which elicits suspicions about the product’s quality and resale potential.
 
Article
An increasing number of firms rely on consumers to develop new ideas for the marketplace. While many firms rely on online crowdsourcing communities, some have created facilities that encourage in-person ideation through which consumers can interact with product design materials. This research proposes that active touch engenders a positive effect on new product creativity and highlights the importance of touch during idea generation. We further suggest that interacting with an object via active touch increases positive mood, which enhances creative performance. Results from two studies provide support for these hypotheses. Study 1 demonstrates the positive effect of active touch on new product creativity. Study 2 replicates this effect in a different product development context and provides evidence that a positive mood mediates the active touch-creativity relationship. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11002-022-09628-5.
 
The interaction of permutation and symbol type on participants’ final accepted level (p = 0.02). Note: We calculated the 95% confidence intervals for each condition separately and error bars represent 95% confidence intervals
The interaction of permutation and symbol type on participants’ final accepted level (p < 0.001). Note: We calculated the 95% confidence intervals for each condition separately and error bars represent 95% confidence intervals
The interaction of permutation (ascending vs. descending with a terminal value) and label type on participants’ final accepted level (p = 0.04). No significant interaction of permutation (ascending vs. descending with a nonterminal value) and label type (p = 0.91). Note: We calculated the 95% confidence intervals for each condition separately and error bars represent 95% confidence intervals
Article
Many decisions involve attempts to advance (level up) despite risk of losing what has already been gained. This research examined how permutations (ascending or descending sequences of level labels) and labels ending in terminal values of the sequence affect risk taking. Across three experiments using a “win-more-or-lose-it-all” game, participants made a series of decisions to level up or opt out and retain previously obtained chances to win. Consistent with hypotheses that approaching a terminal value in a sequence (such as a countdown sequence ending in 1) would make risk loom large, results consistently showed earlier opt-out decisions for descending permutations ending with a terminal value than for ascending sequences or descending sequences that did not end in a terminal value. Such tendencies were also stronger for numerical than for alphabetical labels (perhaps because of greater familiarity with countdown sequences in the numerical domain).
 
A rating request in our experiments on Webservice.com
Article
Consumers’ feedback helps firms, yet most requests for feedback are unanswered. Research on question–behavior effects suggests that providing feedback on prior experiences might influence subsequent consumption behavior, but provides little insight regarding users who decline requests (e.g., by clicking “No, Thanks”). Accordingly, we investigate whether the exposure to a request to rate a consumption experience influences users’ future conversion regardless of their compliance. We carried out two large-scale field studies in collaboration with a leading international website that offers basic service for free, and additional desirable features for a fee (“freemium”). We exposed users to a rating request and measured their subsequent likelihood of converting to the paid service. Users exposed to a rating request were more likely to convert compared with users who were not exposed; this effect persisted over 90 days. Notably, users who complied with the request were no more likely to convert compared with non-compliers.
 
Article
Marketers need evidence to help them select music to promote their products. Ethnicity, social class and/or personality type can distinguish individual music tastes, but age and nostalgia may be the largest determinant of all (North, American Journal of Psychology, 123 , 199–208, 2010). Research into listener preference for music from different eras has found conflicting results. Papers generally agree that it takes an inverse U shape, but disagree on the era for which people are most nostalgic. The seminal paper found a peak for music released when listeners were 23 years of age (Holbrook & Schindler, Journal of Consumer Research, 16 , 119–124, 1989), a follow-up 9 years of age (Hemming, Musicae Scientiae, 17 , 293–304, 2013), and 19 years of age (Holbrook & Schindler, Musicae Scientiae, 17 , 305–308, 2013). This paper attempts to correct the issues raised by Holbrook & Schindler ( Musicae Scientiae, 17 , 305–308, 2013) by improving the representativeness of the sample and introducing a new analysis technique, the two-lines test. This paper finds support for Holbrook & Schindler, but with a slightly younger age peak of roughly 17 years. Additionally, the larger sample allows investigation of differences by generation, which reveals differences that may be caused by their different current age, and so the relationship with, and interplay of nostalgia and music. The central conclusion of the paper is that people do exhibit a preference for music released during their late adolescence/early adulthood. When targeting consumers of a narrow age demographic, music released during this time is more likely to be preferred than any other.
 
Trust’s moderation of senior management orientation. Note: Solid lines indicate significant relationships. Dashed lines indicate non-significant relationships
The combined effects of sales manager and senior management encouragement. Note: Solid lines indicate significant relationships. Dashed lines indicate non-significant relationships
Article
In the following study, a sales rep hard-selling orientation is much more influenced by the hard-selling orientation they perceive senior management want them to adopt when (1) they trust senior management and (2) when their sales manager is perceived to take a similar position as senior management. Thus, a strong in-sync ethical signal is sent, either low or high. Trust plays no moderating role in senior management or sales managers’ influence on a salesperson’s level of customer orientation. This is because pursuing a customer orientation does not increase risk and vulnerability the way that pursuing a hard-selling orientation does, and trust is only an influential construct when there exists risk and vulnerability. In addition, no strong in-sync ethical signal effect was observed on sales rep customer orientation.
 
Article
In prescription drug markets, the effects of advertising on demand for the drug category and for specific brands have been studied, and the interaction between price and non-price promotions, acting on demand for the drug, is well established. More recently, supply-side decisions such as competitive pricing strategies between rival firms in the same therapeutic category, and the interaction between them and consumer advertising have been examined. The study extends the research on the relationship between competitive pricing strategies and direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) by developing and estimating a dynamic model in which sales is influenced by a combination of consumer advertising, detailing, and pricing. The model is estimated using US data from two medical therapeutic categories. One of these datasets has been used in estimation of a static model in a recently published study, and we compare the results of our dynamic model with the static model results. A dynamic model is appropriate for a market where there is a limited period and planning horizon for recovering the costs of drug development before a branded prescription drug loses its patent protection. The relationship between DTCA, detailing, and pricing under different competitive strategies is examined empirically. It is found that the dynamic model can contradict a basic conclusion of a static model, regarding mode of competitive pricing behavior. The relationship between amount and type of DTCA and competitive pricing strategy is as found in previous studies. There are implications for the marketing of pharmaceutical brands during their period of patent protection.
 
Study 1—consumer service evaluation of human, humanoid robot, and mechanical robot
Service evaluation as a function of language style, COVID-19 stress, and service provider type
Article
Service robots are emerging quickly in the marketplace (e.g., in hotels, restaurants, and healthcare), especially as COVID-19-related health concerns and social distancing guidelines have affected people's desire and ability to interact with other humans. However, while robots can increase efficiency and enable service offerings with reduced human contact, prior research shows a systematic consumer aversion toward service robots relative to human service providers. This potential dilemma raises the managerial question of how firms can overcome consumer aversion and better employ service robots. Drawing on prior research that supports the use of language for building interpersonal relationships, this research examines whether the type of language (social-oriented vs. task-oriented language) a service robot uses can improve consumer responses to and evaluations of the focal service robot, particularly in light of consumers' COVID-19-related stress. The results show that consumers respond more favorably to a service robot that uses a social-oriented (vs. task-oriented) language style, particularly when these consumers experience relatively higher levels of COVID-19-related stress. These findings contribute to initial empirical evidence in marketing for the efficacy of leveraging robots' language style to improve customer evaluations of service robots, especially under stressful circumstances. Overall, the results from two experimental studies not only point to actionable managerial implications but also to a new avenue of research on service robots that examines customer-robot interactions through the lens of language and in contexts that can be stressful for consumers (e.g., healthcare or some financial service settings). Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11002-022-09630-x.
 
Platforms across a variety of industries
Article
Some companies offering online services employ tactics that make it hard for customers to quit their accounts. These tactics are commonly referred to as “dark patterns” and may include hiding the cancelation procedure, asking customers to go through an excessive number of steps to complete the cancelation, or simply not letting customers quit their accounts straight away. Arguably, dark patterns are the result of misaligned incentives between companies and customers as companies can still benefit from their customers’ data even if they no longer use the companies’ services. Against this background, the authors conduct an observational survey of the state of current market practice and call for future research that enhances our understanding of dark patterns, their organizational antecedents, customers’ psychological responses to these tactics, and the wider consequences of dark patterns for firms and markets.
 
Conceptual model
Advertising medium and response type interaction effect on Cohen’s d values.
Article
Given the media’s changing landscape for advertising, an examination of advertising creativity and its media interaction takes on increasing importance. Accordingly, we investigate within a meta-analytic framework the moderating role of media type (i.e., traditional/non-traditional) in the relationship between advertising creativity and its effects. The analysis covers 48 papers with 298 data points. First, the meta-analytic findings indicate that ad creativity is positively related to cognition, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Second, the type of media moderates the relationship between ad creativity and its effects. Specifically, the results show that for cognition, print media exhibits a larger impact than TV and non-traditional media. For affect, there is a significant difference in the influence of print versus non-traditional media and TV versus non-traditional media. Non-traditional media produces a smaller impact than print and TV media. For conation, a comparison of TV versus non-traditional media reveals a significant difference in impact. TV media shows a larger impact than non-traditional media. Given that the motivation, opportunity, and ability to process creative ads in traditional and non-traditional media may differ, we present several directions for future research.
 
Conceptual framework of scarcity appeal effects
Study 1 review information
Study 1 mean attitude toward brand. a Attitude toward brand—high-volume condition. b Attitude toward brand—low-volume condition
Article
Online reviews play an important role in consumer purchase decisions and have received much research attention. However, previous research has typically examined the effects of online review characteristics independent of firm marketing messages. We argue that how much average review rating influences consumers’ decisions depends on the presence of a scarcity appeal and its congruence with review volume information. Through a lab experiment and analyses of real-world data from Amazon.com, we show that claiming a product to have limited supply moves consumers toward more heuristic processing but only when review volume is consistent with the scarcity information. In contrast, when review volume is incongruent with the supply-based scarcity message, the incongruence prompts consumers to process information more carefully and reduces their reliance on review valence.
 
A serial mediating model
A serial mediating model
A parallel mediating model
Article
This research examines how the type of money (cash vs. digital) affects consumers’ perceived purchasing power (PPP) of the money and the mediating mechanisms of psychological ownership and psychological distance. Three lab experiments confirm that cash results in higher PPP than does digital money, and that both psychological ownership and psychological distance contribute to the effect of money type on PPP. Our findings provide theoretical implications for the psychological research on the type of money and its influence and practical implications for e-payment and online shopping behaviors.
 
Conceptual model
Confidence in product choice as a function of type of interface and instrumental need-for-touch (study 1). Note: error bars represent +/- 1SE
Confidence in product choice (a), imagined experience of haptic product properties (b), and perceived risk related to product choice (c) as a function of type of interface and instrumental need-for-touch (study 2). Note: error bars represent +/- 1SE
Mediation models (study 2). Note: instrumental need-for-touch is mean-centered; path coefficients are unstandardized betas; ** p < .01; * p < .05
Article
As traditional computer interfaces (mouse, keyboard) are increasingly replaced by touchscreens, an interesting question that arises is how, and for whom, might this shift in interface technology affect choice processes and outcomes. Our main proposition is that consumers who gain confidence in their choices from touching products in physical contexts—that is, who are high in instrumental need-for-touch—experience an analogous boost in confidence when they make product choices using touchscreen-based devices. Four studies support our proposition and demonstrate that consumers with high instrumental need-for-touch are more confident in their choices, less likely to see risks associated with their choices, and they are more likely to make (vs. defer) purchase decisions when using touchscreens. Our studies explore the mechanism behind these effects, indicate that consumers find these effects undesirable, and show that informing consumers about our findings helps them to become less susceptible to these effects.
 
Conceptual Model of Influence of Brand Personality on Customer Reactions to Service Robot Adoption
Interactive Effects of Brand Personality and Robot Type on Willingness to Book and Perceived Robot–Brand Fit
Interactive Effects of Brand Personality and Robot Type on Behavioral Intention and Perceived Robot–Brand Fit
Interactive Effects of Brand Personality and Warmth Cue on Agent Preference and Perceived Robot–Brand Fit
Article
Can every brand benefit from adopting service robots? To tackle this important question, we examined the interactive effects of brand personality (sincere vs. exciting) and service robot type (high-contact vs. low-contact) on customer reactions to service robot implementation. Results from three experimental studies indicate that customers tend to react negatively to high-contact robots when the brand had a sincere (vs. exciting) personality. This tendency is driven by the poor perceived fit between the sincere brand personality and the implementation of high-contact robots. However, such brand personality effects are mitigated in the adoption of low-contact robots. For a sincere brand adopting high-contact robots, we suggest that signaling warmth can enhance the perceived brand–robot fit and thereby reduce negative customer reactions.
 
Article
Marketer interest in using virtual reality (VR) as a persuasion tactic continues to rise. Notably, one sector at the forefront of utilizing this tactic for persuasive means is nonprofit marketing. Many charities have devoted considerable resources to creating VR appeals under the assumption that this medium will increase donations over and above present tactics. However, research has not yet examined the persuasive consequences VR may provide over more traditional channels. This research seeks to understand the opportunities and limitations this emerging tactic can offer marketers. Specifically, we examine the donation effectiveness of three real VR charitable appeals by assessing actual donation behaviors, and find that VR appeals increase donations compared to a two-dimensional (2D) format. This work addresses a timely and relevant issue for practitioners and opens doors to future research investigating VR's applications to marketing. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11002-021-09601-8.
 
Study 1 donation rates
Study 2 donation rates
Article
In the context of charitable donation decisions, we demonstrate that adding information to the decision context about a fundraising campaign one cannot act on (i.e., an unavailable alternative) increases donations for the remaining, available campaign. At times, adding an unavailable alternative is even more effective at increasing the donation rate than adding an available alternative to the choice set, contradicting the normative assumption that having more options is better. We find preliminary evidence suggesting that the effect is driven by perceived impact—adding an unavailable alternative leads consumers to believe their donation will have a greater impact on the remaining cause. This investigation contributes to the consumer prosocial behavior literature by demonstrating the positive effect of unavailable alternatives on donation choice and identifying its extent and determinants. Future directions and practical implications for fundraising managers are discussed.
 
Study 1 Results: higher relative donations drive coupon choice
Study 3 Results: higher relative donations drive gift card choice
Article
When trying to make a good impression on consumers through charitable giving, is it better for brands to maximize the overall dollars they donate or how much they give in relative terms; for example, the proportion of profits? Across five studies we show that consumers prefer a brand that donates less in absolute dollars, if it reflects a higher proportion of profits, compared to a brand that donates more money overall, when it reflects a smaller proportion of profits. This preference emerges because consumers use the relative size of the donation as a stronger indicator of the brand’s generosity than the absolute dollar amount. The effect persists even when firms make a smaller amount of money seem more generous (i.e., seem larger in relative terms) than a larger amount by condensing the timeframe of a donation.
 
Article
Si, K., & Dai, X. Marketing Letters (2022), have introduced an intriguing and potentially useful construct to the marketing literature: memory-search frame. Our commentary centers on Si and Dai’s study 3. This study focuses on the possible moderating effect of age on the typical length of consumers’ memory-search frame. Its results imply that older consumers have longer memory-search frames compared to younger consumers. However, these correlation-based results are not strong evidence. We briefly review past research that is inconsistent with these results and pose additional questions to the authors that they might pursue in future research.
 
The three stages involved in Si & Dai (2022)’s context: event retrieval, event selection, and temporal evaluation
Article
Si & Dai (2022) provide evidence for the proposition that a longer memory-search frame (time window from which past events are recalled) leads consumers to retrieve experiences that are objectively more distant in the past but perceived to be closer. We relate these findings to prior literature and point out to methodological differences that might create ambiguities in interpreting the results. Despite these ambiguities, we believe that the research raises several important questions that future research can address to help form a better picture of how people judge the temporal location of past events and how they recall past experiences more generally.
 
Path model in study 2. Note. Participants’ liking of the recalled dining experiences was included as a covariate in the model. ***p < .001, **p < .01, *p < .05
Path model in study 3. Note. Participants’ memory vividness of the recalled vacations was included as a covariate in the model. ***p < .001, **p < .01, *p < .05
Article
When consumers recall past consumption experiences (e.g., vacations), they often need to search their memory for relevant events within certain time frames (e.g., the past year). We refer to the time frames as memory-search frames. We provide evidence of the ecological validity of this construct and study its effects on consumers’ construction of events from memory. We propose that memory-search frames can affect consumers’ estimation of time via their effects on the retrieval and evaluation of events from memory. Specifically, we show that adopting longer (versus shorter) memory-search frames leads consumers to retrieve experiences that are objectively more distant in the past but at the same time makes them perceive the experiences to be subjectively closer. We demonstrate the implications of the current effect for consumers’ judgment and preference. In addition, we show that memory-search frame length tends to increase with age, which in part underlies the perceptions of accelerated time by old people. Theoretical and practical implications of the present research are discussed.
 
Conceptual model
Interaction effect between lay beliefs about AI and perceived complexity
Article
There is little research on how consumers decide whether they want to use algorithmic advice or not. In this research, we show that consumers’ lay beliefs about artificial intelligence (AI) serve as a heuristic cue to evaluate accuracy of algorithmic advice in different professional service domains. Three studies provide robust evidence that consumers who believe that AI is higher than human intelligence are more likely to adopt algorithmic advice. We also demonstrate that lay beliefs about AI only influence adoption of algorithmic advice when a decision task is perceived to be complex.
 
Article
The increasing humanization and emotional intelligence of AI applications have the potential to induce consumers' attachment to AI and to transform human-to-AI interactions into human-to-human-like interactions. In turn, consumer behavior as well as consumers' individual and social lives can be affected in various ways. Following this reasoning, I illustrate the implications and research opportunities related to consumers' (potential) attachment to humanized AI applications along the stages of the consumption process.
 
Results of study 1: Mediation analyses via perceived sociality for the effects of purchase type on happiness (**p < .01; *p < .05)
Results of study 2: Anticipated happiness derived from the grill framed as different purchase types. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean
Speaker images used in study 3. Detailed ad copies and experiment instructions are reported in the Supplemental Material File
Results of study 3: Anticipated happiness derived from the speaker framed as different purchase types. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean
Article
Prior research suggests that material goods (e.g., electronic gadgets) often provide less happiness than do experiences (e.g., movies). As a boundary condition, the present research proposes a theory-based yet actionable solution to overcome the happiness disadvantage of material goods. Three studies show that when material goods are anthropomorphized (i.e., imbued with humanlike characteristics), consumers gain enhanced feelings of consumption sociality and, in turn, derive a boost in happiness such that they gain as much happiness from these material goods as from experiences. With mediation and moderation approaches, we provide process evidence for these enhanced feelings of consumption sociality that are typically lacking with material purchases, which are prone to being consumed alone rather than with other people. Thus, the present research suggests that even in the absence of other people, consumers can gain greater happiness from their material goods by perceiving them as human.
 
Brand profiles (rental scenario)
a Exemplary choice task–rental scenario. b Exemplary choice task–purchase scenario
Brand profiles (purchase scenario)
Article
Autonomous cars are considered to be the next disruptive innovation that will affect consumers. It can be expected that not only traditional automakers will enter this market (e.g., Ford) but also technology companies (e.g., Google) and newer companies dedicated to self-driving cars (e.g., Tesla). We take a brand extension perspective and analyze to what extent consumers prefer autonomous cars from these brand categories. Our empirical study is based on discrete choice experiments about adopting autonomous vehicles in a purchase scenario and in a renting context. Our findings show that brands play a central role when making autonomous driving decisions. Brand preferences differ systematically when buying versus renting a self-driving car. While technology brands are most preferred overall, consumers favor automaker brands over new brands only when purchasing, not when renting. We further disentangle the brand strength into the marginal effects of image associations. For example, Google’s strong brand positioning can be explained by experiences with the parent brand, but it could still improve brand strength by highlighting the relevance of the associated brand portfolio for self-driving cars. The effect of these brand extension success factors differs between parent-brand categories and also between the renting and purchasing scenarios, which requires a dedicated brand management.
 
Stimuli used in the study in the two experimental conditions. a Traditional communication and b AR communication. Furniture products, respectively, from left to right: SANDBACKEN sofa, MICKE desk, and KVISTBRO basket
Conceptual model for the study
Article
Despite the growing application of augmented reality in advertising, there is limited understanding about how customers respond to their interaction with the augmented reality advertising and how it differs from a standard paper-based advertising. Augmented reality ads are immersive, interactive, and lifelike, which means they may help companies create an emotional connection with their customers. The authors test if customers would respond in terms of emotional and affective intensity differently to augmented reality versus standard paper-based advertising. The results of two laboratory studies that consider physiological measures of arousal (galvanic skin response), self-reported measure of affect intensity and willingness to pay show that the higher willingness to pay for customers exposed to augmented reality as opposed to standard paper-based ads is driven by the physiological arousal, but not by the self-reported affect intensity and that processing fluency possibly underlies consumer’s enhanced emotional responses toward AR. These results suggest that replacing traditional advertisements with augmented reality advertisements enhances customer physiological responses and willingness to pay, with possible implications on customer segmentation and marketing communication.
 
Article
Increasingly, marketing activity takes place within complex organizational structures. One example of this is the so-called 'plural forms’ structure, where a buyer and a supplier perform the same activity or produce the same input simultaneously. Past research on plural forms has tended to focus on the buyer and on how it can benefit from the parallel use of different organizational forms. Considerably, less is known about the other party in a plural form system. We study this phenomenon in the context of dual distribution channels, where a company-owned salesforce and independent resellers perform parallel distribution functions. Taking the reseller’s perspective, we propose that (1) its long-term relationship outcomes have path-dependent origins which follow from a dual channel’s particular evolutionary path and (2) the magnitude of these path-dependent effects depends on the particular upstream and downstream competitive conditions. We test our hypotheses in a rich cross-industry sample of industrial resellers. We find that reseller relationships where manufacturers did not have a direct selling operation in place before initiating the relationship with the reseller have better relationship outcomes in terms of relationship satisfaction, transaction costs, and the level of information sharing, when compared to dual distribution situations where manufacturers added the in-house operation after initiating the relationship with the reseller; upstream competition attenuates this effect, while downstream competition aggravates it.
 
Virtual currency schemes
Article
The digitization of money has led to the emergence of numerous virtual currencies. Despite their great financial relevance, virtual currencies have not received much attention in marketing research. We classify virtual currencies into three different schemes and highlight potential factors that influence consumer behavior related to these new payment methods. This article provides marketing researchers with a research framework as well as specific research questions to initiate discussions and future research on this novel topic.
 
Firm equity value and the SMPS (for Samsung Electronics, Ltd.)
Article
Customer loyalty and satisfaction increase product sales, protect market share, and lower marketing costs, which potentially leads to greater returns on investment and cash flows. Therefore, investors take customer feedback into account when making investment decisions. Online social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have emerged as alternative sources for obtaining customer feedback information promptly and at a low cost. This study develops a new measure, the Social Media Promoter Score (SMPS), which combines several indicators of customers’ attitudes toward a company derived from detailed sentiment and content analyses of social media. Using a semiparametric model of customer loyalty index based on the generalized additive model (GAM), we found that both positive and negative social media metrics about customers’ attitudes were significantly associated with the customer loyalty index. Importantly, SMPS was also significantly associated with an increase in firms’ market performance. These findings suggest that SMPS can be a valuable measure to complement the existing customer metrics such as the ACSI. Theoretical contributions to research on the marketing–finance interface and managerial implications are discussed.
 
Article
While the emergence of peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms has revolutionized the way people exchange goods, these platforms face the need to provide appealing products offered by independent providers. However, those providers have to deal with anonymous buyers, potentially hindering their perception of control over the exchange and their subsequent willingness to use the platform. Our research addresses this issue of providers’ control. Because prior research uses either environment-centric or individual-centric measures of control, no accurate measure of perceived control exists. This research aims to contribute by providing a scale that—in line with control theories—differentiates among the perceptions of control that derive from individual (i.e., skills-related) and those that emerge from the environment (i.e., security-related, autonomy-related). The results of four empirical studies performed in the second-hand market provide strong empirical support for the validity of our control scale and its ability to explain the provider’s experience on the P2P platform.
 
Top-cited authors
Aaron Chaim Ahuvia
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business
Moshe Ben-Akiva
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Daniel Mcfadden
  • University of California, Berkeley
ko de ruyter
  • King's College London
Ulf Bockenholt
  • Northwestern University