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In real life most are searching for ways to pursue happiness through positive affirmation from others. This practice includes conspicuous luxury consumption in capitalist societies. Veblen Thorstein critically describes this construct as lavishing money on unnecessary evident goods as a means to gain social status and recognition from others (Veblen, 1899). Following Veblen, researchers have examined various antecedent and consequent factors of conspicuous luxury consumption behaviour from broad research streams such as power, social class, culture and materialism (e.g., Berger & Ward, 2010; Han, Nunes, & Drèze, 2010; Lee & Shrum, 2012; Rucker & Galinsky, 2008, 2009; Sivanathan & Pettit, 2010; Wang & Griskevicius, 2014). Though research on conspicuous luxury consumption has received great attention over the past decade, and previous research discovered how various factors affect conspicuous luxury consumption, the ways in which core factors influence conspicuous luxury consumption are still not well understood. In this research, we revealed two important factors; self-focus versus other-focus and self-transformative versus self-expressive motivation. In multiple experiments, the major dependent variable is the logo size of luxury brands, which is generally accepted to reflect the conspicuous consumption intentions of the purchaser. This research reveals the following two important findings. First, individuals have a greater desire for conspicuous luxury products when they focus more on others than themselves, because of brand logo visibility of luxury consumption. This is because focusing on others makes individuals more concerned about others’ opinions of them and social criticism (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975), thus leading individuals to gravitate towards the products that can guard against potential social criticism. This in turn, makes other-focused individuals place more value than self-focused individuals on conspicuous luxury products that have socially favourable indicators. Secondly, the current research shows that individuals who are motivated to transform themselves into the person they wish to be prefer conspicuous luxury products more than those who are motivated to express their actual selves. This is because conspicuous luxury products are highly associated with an ideal self. The current research offers several important contributions. First, the studies reported here will enrich the extant conspicuous luxury consumption literature by unveiling the fundamental motivations lying behind the various factors that have been shown to influence conspicuous consumption in previous research (e.g., Lee & Shrum, 2012; Rucker & Galinsky, 2008, 2009). Second, the findings of this research highlight ways to attenuate conspicuous luxury consumption that affect the happiness of individuals; the self-focused and self-expression. Consequently, this research’s findings advance understanding of luxury consumption as most research has focused more on antecedents that increase conspicuous luxury consumption behaviour (e.g., Lee & Shrum, 2012; Sivanathan & Pettit, 2010; Wang & Griskevicius, 2014) than factors that decrease conspicuous luxury consumption behaviour (Stillman, Fincham, Vohs, Lambert, & Phillips, 2012).
The cosmetic industry has been rapidly expanding over the last decades. The industry itself generates about $230 billion each year and is consumed daily by 90% of female consumers. Despite its weight in the economy, consumer research has largely neglected the specificity of beauty products and consumption. The first aim of this paper is thus to offer an integrative conceptual framework to better understand beauty consumption from a consumer psychology point of view, incorporating findings from evolutionary, cognitive and cultural psychology. The second aim is to encourage consumer research on the topic by offering a research agenda taking into consideration different dimensions of beauty perception. This working paper is based on a critical and systematic literature review conducted on the topic of beauty in cognitive, evolutionary and cultural psychology. Whilst the beauty industry is booming, a gap exists in the consumer research literature in terms of understanding the applications of traditional evolutionary, cognitive and crosscultural research on the topic. This working paper introduces a framework and agenda to understand, frame, and study beauty in consumer research. On the basis of the literature reviewed, we propose a model with two decision-making systems related to beautyrelated cognition and behaviors: an impulsive decision-making system and a socially constructed decision-making system. In the impulsive decision-making system, sexual selection and cognitive mechanisms function simultaneously. We expect impulsive buying behavior to occur when consumers are exposed to highly aesthetic packaging of beauty products. In the socially constructed decision-making system, consumers choose certain brands depending on the brand image being aligned with the consumer’s cultural perception of beauty. We argue that decision-making behavior is reflective, as opposed to impulsive. Finally, we argue that both systems are mutually reinforcing and need to be better integrated into further studies looking at beauty consumption.
People want to watch a sports game which cannot anticipate the result until the end of the game. Sometimes, however, excessive tension of contest lowers the interest of audience. Vast amount of existing researches have focused on finding explanation about what makes a difference of the preference level of suspense among sports fans and where is the optimal level of suspense. We apply Expected Utility Theory and Prospect theory to illustrate the expected utility of sports spectators. According to our findings, if someone someone who is satisfied more when the cheering team wins, he or she may prefer lopsided match than close match. And fans who support winning team, which means team which wins often, prefer lopsided match to close match because they forecast their team will win more than fans who support losing team, which means team which loses often. We manipulate the level of satisfaction when the cheering team wins (S) and subjective forecasted probability of win before the game (Q) of respondents and measure the utility of them toward difference game aspect (P) to verify our hypothesis. This study was carried out to investigate how the satisfaction of sports spectators will change according to the change of the game aspect. In particular, research model was set up using the Expected Utility Theory and Prospect Theory of economics. The use of economics models to explain sports consumer behavior is different from that of previous studies, and consumers' prior expectations can affect the current game viewing based on Prospect Theory is another contribution of this research.
This paper examines the co-creation of human brands identities exemplified by celebrities in a stakeholder-actor approach. By bringing together the theoretical web of service-dominant logic, stakeholder theory, actor-network theory, and consumer culture theory, we argue that human brand identities are co-created by multiple stakeholder-actors that have resources and incentives in the activities that make a up an enterprise of a human brand, including the celebrities themselves, consumer-fans, and business entities. By utilizing an observational, archival netnographic data from popular social media channels, four exemplars of celebrity identities from the Philippines demonstrate the co-creation of human brands. Findings illustrate key stakeholder-actors’ participations, production and consumption, and integrations of resources and incentives in the co-creation process as articulated in social media. The co-creation process happens through sociological translations codes namely: social construction and negotiation of identities, parasocialization, influence projection, legitimization, and utilization of human brand identities. These dynamics of human brand identity advance a stakeholder-actor paradigm of service co-creation that is adaptive to the predominant consumer culture and human ideals that surround the celebrity. Implications and future research on celebrity brand marketing management are discussed.
This paper broadly addresses the development of optimal marketing budget allocating among firms in the Russian market and applies methodologies produced by the contemporary marketing practices (CMP) project (New Zealand, the university of Auckland). From that project, it would seem that there are two separate paradigms that distinguish modern firms, namely a transactional approach and a relational approach. In a transactional type, the marketing campaign depends entirely upon closing the sale, based on a marketing miх or 4P conception. Relational marketing is based, rather, on a long term relationships with the customer, and it is generally typical of B2B markets where a limited number of companies try to develop customer’s loyalty due to the strong competition. Using marketing practices according to these two paradigms in Russia as an emerging market, however, reveals a difficulty in determining how to apply the CMP method to businesses: how is firm efficiency in these markets associated with one paradigm or the other? Is the situation in Russia typical for transition or emerging markets, or is it closer to that of advanced market economies, and which patterns in marketing practices do companies from different financial level prefer? Finally, how can firms use this approach to optimize marketing resources allocation? These questions were not resolved by the CMP project, yet they are critical for understanding the evolution of firms in transition countries such as Russia. The theoretical understanding in the literature shows a general cross-country relationship between marketing practices and firm efficiency. It is generally admitted that marketing creates value for a company, e.g. by analyzing customer database, selecting profitable clients segments, activities of the company, choosing an appropriate business model and strategic direction of the company. These are some of the most prominent reasons why marketing and company’s revenues are closely connected (Doyle, 2000; Rust et.al. 2004). The literature on marketing practices additionally identifies several regularities for developed and emerging markets: 1. Increased effectiveness can be achieved primarily by using database technology: switch marketing attention from markets to customers (individuals) and analyze clients flow. (Sheth and Sisodia, 2002; Rust and Chung, 2006) 2. Markets should be aimed not only at the customer acquisition but also at the customer retention. (Sheth and Sisodia, 2002) 3. Marketing is mostly characterized by delayed effect in time, implying companies should relate marketing activities with longer term effects (Dekimpe, Hanssens, 1995). 4. The consumer-company interrelation influence on the cumulative level of the marketing assets of the company. (Reinartz and Kumar, 2002)
The act of gift-giving is one of the most significant consumption rituals that individuals perform world-wide (Antón, Camarero, and Gil, 2014) and represents a substantial industry and a major source of revenue for retailers (Segev, Shoham, and Ruvio, 2013). In addition to its economic significance, gift giving is instrumental in maintaining social bonds and functions as symbolic communication in relationships (Belk, 1979; Belk and Coon, 1993). Various researchers (e.g., Belk and Coon, 1993; Fischer and Arnold 1990; Lowrey, Otnes, and Ruth 2004; Ruth, Otnes, and Brunel 1999; Sherry and McGrath 1989) explore reasons for giving and receiving gifts. Although these studies offer valuable insights into gift giving, research on luxury brands as gifts is scarce (Reyneke, Berthon, Pitt, and Parent, 2011). Similarly, research on luxury concentrates on consumer perceptions of luxury brands and motivations behind luxury consumption (Dubois and Duquesne, 1993; Zhan and He, 2012; Roux, Tafani, and Vigneron, 2017). There is a lack of research on consumer resistance to luxury brands. This paper attempts to address these gaps from a conceptual perspective. Drawing on gift giving, consumer resistance and luxury brand literature, this study will examine consumer resistance to luxury brands as gifts. Consumer resistance is “the way in which individuals or groups practise a strategy of appropriation in response to structures of domination” (Poster, 1992, p.1). Consumer resistance can be generic (toward all forms of consumption), or specific (toward a brand or product) (Nepomuceno, Rohani, and Grégoire, 2017). Moisio and Askegaard (2002) suggested three factors that trigger resistance: market conditions that are deemed unacceptable; products or brands that do not conform to the consumer’s self-image; and dominant cultural values that are rejected due to their hegemonic nature. Key motives for luxury brand consumption include impressing others or interpersonal aspects (Berry, 1994; Kastanakis and Balabanis, 2014), and personal or hedonic reasons (Dubois, Czellar, and Laurent, 2005; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2009). The reasons for resistance to consumption are not merely the opposite of motives for consumption. Hence, to gain a comprehensive understanding of consumption, it is essential to examine resistance to consumption as an alternative consumption (Roux, 2007; Close and Zinkhan, 2009). This study will contribute theoretically to work on gift giving, consumer resistance and luxury brands. Managerial implications will be relevant to brand managers and how they can develop strategies to prevent consumer resistance to their brands.
This paper examines how to create customers’ advocacy and demonstrates that “Ambassador program” brings out Brand Advocates. Introduction This paper aims to identify how to effectively develop brand advocates from customers. Brand advocates are enthusiastic customers who promote a specific brand (Fuggetta, 2012) and expected to be a powerful marketing force by firms. In marketing literatures, “advocate” has been augured as an ultimate objective (Kotler et al., 2016) or a goal of customer decision journey(Batra and Keller, 2016). It suggests that the importance of consumer-to-consumer (C-to-C) communication has been increasing. In marketing communication, it is necessary to manage paid/owned/earned media (POEM). Paid media means advertising; owned media are their own media such as shops, DM, and website; and earned media consists of publicity and word-of-mouth (WOM). Though the influence of WOM grabs attention, it is uncontrollable and unmanageable. However, in Japan, some major firms such as Nestle, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Seven-Eleven have adopted a brand new approach called “Ambassador program,” which is a long-term collaboration with customers. Though the activities are different from each company, they commonly involve their customers to create a brand experience (Brakus et al., 2009) and promote advocacy from the participants. In other words, first, they provide brand experience through owned media and then expand it to earned media. This study examines the following key research question: Does the “Ambassador program” bring out a Brand Advocate? NESCAFE Ambassador Program To examine this research question, I selected the case of NESCAFE Ambassador Program, which is the largest in Japan and in the world. The program details are as below: 1. A person who wants to introduce NESCAFE coffee system to his/her office applies as a NESCAFE Ambassador through online application. 2. After an investigation, the person is authorized as a NESCAFE Ambassador. 3. After purchasing a coffee cartridge subscription, the Ambassador and his/her colleague can enjoy this coffee machine free. The program started in 2012 and the number of Ambassador has reached 280,000 until June 2017. The Ambassadors are required to invest time and efforts in collecting money from colleagues to pay for the coffee cartridge, water, cups and so on; however, they voluntarily introduce the system to their office. They seem to be similar to brand advocates and this paper examines the relationship between brand advocates and ambassador program. Method and Data To examine the research question in this study, an online survey was conducted on NESCAFE machine (NESCAFE Barista and NESCAFE Dolce Gust) users (n = 2,000). The respondents consist of 492 NESCAFE ambassadors, 508 ambassador program participants (not the ambassador itself but ambassador’s colleagues), and 1,000 non-program participants (average 42.9 years old, male 61.5%, female 38.6%). The following data were collected through an online questionnaire: (a) The frequency of advocacy in eight different ways; 1: Never 2: Seldom 3: Sometimes 4: Often (b) The level of fandom on a 7-point Likert scale (c) Touch point with the brand; touch points exhibited by Duncan (2005) (22 items, including 13 of pre-purchase information resource), the frequency and period of using NESCAFE machine, and expenditure toward NESCAFE Data analysis was carried out as follows: (1) Extract brand advocates from the respondents by the responses to questions (a) and (b); a person who “often” advocates NESCAFE in any ways in question (a) and also chooses 6 or 7 about the level of fandom in question (b) was regarded as a brand advocate. (2) Multiple regression analysis was used to verify the difference between brand advocates (BAs) and non-BAs. (3) Chi-square test was used to examine the relationship between brand advocates and ambassador program. Result As a result of the questionnaire, 201 BAs were found out from 2,000 respondents (see tables 1 and 2). There are significant differences between BA and non-BA in average age (BA 41.4 y.o., non-BA 43.1 y.o.) (t (1998) = 2.49, p < .05)and gender balance (male: BA 52.7%, non-BA 62.4%) (χ² = 7.16, df = 1, p < .01). The features of brand advocates First, multiple regression was calculated in order to predict being BA on the basis of “the way of advocacy” variables. The results showed that each of the following variable, such as “Have a coffee together at home” (β = 0.31, p < 0.001), posting to the community (β = 0.17, p < 0.001), and face-to-face communication (β = 0.14, p < 0.001) were significant predictors of being a BA (F (3, 1,996) = 237.91, p < 0.001) (Table 3). Consequently, multiple regression analysis was made to predict being a BA on the basis of “touch point” variables. The results showed that multiple prepurchase variables such as face-to-face WOM (β = 0.25, p < 0.001), both in-store (β = 0.10, p < 0.001) and out-of-store trial (β = 0.07, p < 0.001), which means that the respondents had used NESCAFE machine at a friend’s home, the contact rate for the brand such as customer service (β = 0.07, p < 0.001) and financial contribution to the brand such as monthly expenditure (β = 0.08, p < 0.001) were significant predictors of being a BA (F (12, 1,987) = 60.51, p < 0.001) (Table 4). In addition, a BA’s frequency of usage was significantly higher than a non-BA’s (χ² = 148.67, df = 6, p < .001) (Table 6). The relationship between brand advocates and ambassador program Finally, a chi-square test on participation to the ambassador program revealed that it significantly brought out brand advocates (χ² = 67.17, df = 2, p < .001) (Table 5). Interestingly, not only ambassadors themselves but also participants, ambassadors’ colleagues, showed higher rate of being a BA than the nonprogram participants. Conclusion Several important findings are derived from this study. First of all, “Ambassador program” brings out BAs. It makes the participants to take NESCAFE as a dairy habit and then percolate advocacy voluntarily. It is also revealed that BA’s communication is often among peers and face to face. Both academic researchers and managers tend to focus on digital communication; however, this paper showed the importance of offline communication. Furthermore, this study showed that BAs follow the brand’s own media. It means that firms can access BAs through their own media. Based on these findings, this paper recommends to managers that WOM is still not within their control; however, they can increase customers’ advocacy by enhancing their brand experience through their own media; and Ambassador Program is one of the solutions for them.
In this research, we are going to explore the effect of processing fluency and different types of appeal on consumer’s prosocial intention. There are contradictory findings regarding the effects of processing fluency whether easy to process fluency (EPF) or difficult to process fluency (DPF) is more efficient to lead prosocial behavior (Reber, Schwarz, & Winkielman, 2004). However, we predict that different appeals based on egoistic or altruistic motives may influence people’s perceptions of processing fluency. In particular, if a primed appeal concerns egoistic motives, effort to reach the selfish appeal could not be reflected as honorable for themselves (Zhang, Xu, Jiang, & Huang, 2010). As a result, we predict that such perceived disgraceful efforts will increase unpleasant emotional states such as guilt, which arises when experiencing possible objections to their actions or intentions (Peloza, White, & Shang, 2013). Thus, we hypothesized and found that in study 1, people primed with self-benefiting appeals considered a difficult to process campaign to be less favorable than an easy to process campaign. Self-benefiting appeals increased a sense of guilt when people are in a DPF condition compared to an EPF condition. Finally, in study 2, the demonstrated effect from study 1 was explained with underlying mechanism as a sense of guilt. In conclusion, this study has theoretical implications in discovering the relationship between processing fluency and different types of appeal. When the appeal is considered disgraceful from egoistic motives, putting extra efforts into DPF campaigns is considered unjustifiable through increasing guilty feelings. This effect causes unfavorable attitudes toward DPF campaigns and decreases prosocial behavior. As a result, our findings provide insights for marketers by suggesting effective strategies for designing prosocial campaigns.