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Emphasizing effort vs talent in personal trainers' performance: consumption response of personal fitness training customers

Sangchul Park (Department of Business Administration, Alma College, Alma, Michigan, USA)
Hyun-Woo Lee (Division of Sport Management, Texas A&M University College Station, College Station, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Fitness service companies often promote the companies' personal training service by attributing trainers' competent characteristics, qualifications or/and service provision to their effort or talent. This promotion is called performance attribution promotion. Utilizing attribution theory and the theory's adjacent studies, this study investigated whether and why performance attribution promotion affects consumers' service purchase of personal fitness training.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed the experimental stimuli of performance attribution promotion and validated those through a pretest (N = 200). Using the validated stimuli, the authors conducted an experiment with employing a single factor between-subject design (performance attribution promotion: effort vs talent) based on random assignment (N = 200).

Findings

The analysis results revealed that attributing trainers' competent characteristics, qualifications or/and service provision to effort (vs talent) leads to a higher level of service registration intention. Moreover, this effect was mediated by the perceived teaching expertise but not by the perceived teaching trustworthiness.

Originality/value

These findings enrich the literature by illuminating a new mechanism and consequence of performance attribution promotion. The authors' study also extends the marketing studies related to expertise perception by presenting the attribution of visible features as one of the characteristics determining expertise perception. Finally, the authors' findings also have implications for fitness service companies and other stakeholders that seek to effectively leverage trainers' competent outcomes for consumer acquisition.

Keywords

Citation

Park, S. and Lee, H.-W. (2023), "Emphasizing effort vs talent in personal trainers' performance: consumption response of personal fitness training customers", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSMS-06-2022-0115

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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