Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited
Welcome to the second issue of the for the year 2017. In this issue, the APJML presents a series of papers advertising appeals, consumer behaviour insights – consumer involvement and consumer values, online and offline retailing, and service-profit chain (SPC) management. Our industry spotlight paper explores the enactment of public relations functions in the Indonesian mining industry.
We begin with the topic of advertising appeals. Opening this issue is a paper by Luk, Chow, Wan, Fu, and Fong on modernisation and sex-appeals in advertising. Surveying 811 respondents across major cities in China, they evaluate how modernisation has influenced and changed consumer responses towards nudity in advertising. Applying institutional theory their study helps researchers and marketers better understand some of the factors that influence consumer attitudes towards nudity in advertising, and provides a framework for making these evaluations. Next, Razzaq, Yousaf, and Hong examine how emotions, along with other loyalty drivers, influence consumer loyalty in the services sector. Conducted in Pakistan, their study makes comparisons between the supermarket and banking industries. Their findings demonstrate the direct and indirect effects of consumer emotions on their loyalty to the firm, and highlight key considerations for managers to develop a more holistic service environment that considers the emotions responses of their customers.
Consumers play an important role to a firm’s success, not just in terms of the purchases they make, but also in terms of the relationship they have with the firm. The next two papers explore the relationship between the consumer and the firm. First, Duarte Alonso and Alexander shine a light on the craft brewing industry in Australia, and explore how knowledge acquisition through feedback helps these operators generate knowledge and improve their product. Their findings identify types of feedback that operators value, and illustrates how this drives the way craft beer is produced, and the types of beer that operators offer to their customers. From a theoretical standpoint, this study also presents a refinement to both the knowledge based theory of the firm, and the SECI process. Next, Hamzelu, Gohary, Ghafoori Nia and Heidarzadeh Hanazee present a paper on how the level of involvement tempers consumers’ reactions to product failures, in terms of the word-of-mouth that consumers spread. Surveying respondents in Iran, this study applies the FCB model, and helps to develop a method for researchers and managers to better segment their consumers in terms of their involvement with the firm, so that measures can be taken to better manage the customer relationship. Continuing with this theme of consumer involvement, Tan, Quoquab, Ahmad and Mohammad present a paper on the influence of self-esteem on student citizenship behaviour at international university branch campuses (IBCs) in Malaysia. Their study investigates how student social bonds such as involvement and attachment may mediate this relationship. Their findings help shed light on strategies that can be implemented to improve students’ campus experience, and in turn, their satisfaction at these IBCs.
Moving into the branding space, Han presents a paper on how the rapid economic development in Asia influences young consumers’ brand evaluations. Examining Chinese and Korean young consumers, Han explores how consumer cosmopolitanism and ethnocentrism influences these consumers’ evaluations of Japanese brands. The findings presented give insight into the differences in values between Chinese and Korean consumers. For example, the findings suggest that as the economy develops, there may be a greater shift towards cosmopolitanism, away from ethnocentrism. These present significant considerations for brand managers in terms of the way they manage and market the brand’s image.
Shifting focus to the topic of retailing, Jain, Gajjar, Shah and Sadh present a paper on the dimensions of e-fulfillment, and how it affects consumer’s in the e-tailing space. This systematic review presents a number of contributions. It gives insight on the systematic review process, and their review consolidates research findings in e-tailing, identifies seven key dimensions of e-fulfillment which may be useful as a springboard for future research.
From online to offline retailing, Chen and Fiore investigate pop-up retail, exploring the effectiveness of pop-up retail stores as an experiential marketing practice in Taiwan. Their findings reveal that Taiwanese consumers primarily derive hedonic benefits, and self-enhancement benefits from these pop-up retail stores. Further, this study finds that acceptance of pop-up retail is greater with more innovative consumers. Using these findings, Chen and Fiore identity a number of strategies that retailers can use to improve the patronage of their stores.
Increasingly, the lines between online and offline retailing are blurred. Pascoe, Wright and Winzar explore the role that e-tailing plays in an omni-channel retail environment; examining the importance of various website attributes in influencing consumer attitudes towards the brand. Conducted in Australia, their findings reinforce the importance of consistency across a brand’s communication channels, and highlights how website design aesthetics can help enhance consumer attitudes toward the brand. Further, their study highlights the advantages and disadvantages of best-worst scaling, which can help improve future research in this area. Following this, Arora, Singha and Sahney then present a paper on showrooming behaviour, where consumers use their experience in the physical retail store to make decisions and purchase using online channels. Among other findings, their study reveals that the increased availability of information online can confuse consumers, who are then prompted to visit the retail store to gain a better understanding of the product and make their decision. This is where showrooming plays an important role, and marketing managers and retailers can leverage the physical store environment and the services provides to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience, and persuade them to make a purchase.
Finally, Neal and Benjarongrat investigate the SPC in a Thai bank. Using a mixed methods approach, they interview and survey customers of a retail bank in Thailand. Their study helps identify key service features that bank affect customer satisfaction with the bank. Further, this study contextualises the SPC model to a banking context, which opens opportunities for further research in this area.
Closing this issue, is our industry spotlight paper is presented by Yudarwati and Tjiptono. Their paper is set in the Indonesian mining industry, and investigates the enactment of public relations functions. This case study of three large mining firms in Indonesia sheds light on how the mining industry adjusted their public relations functions to keep up with the socio-cultural and political changes in the industry. For example, the public relations role has increasingly shifted to take on a relationship management role with the local community. This study sheds light on an under-represented public relations phenomenon, and serves as a springboard for future research endeavours in this area.
I hope this issue has provided interesting perspectives and unique insights to stimulate future research. I thank the reviewers and EAB for their timely reviews and contribution to the APJML; and the authors for submitting manuscripts of exceptional calibre.