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The name effect in customization service: the role of psychological ownership and self-threat

Yan Kou (School of Business Administration, Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, Guiyang, China)
Zhong Shuai (School of Business Administration, Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, Guiyang, China)
Samart Powpaka (Department of Marketing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 25 May 2021

Issue publication date: 15 June 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the effect of adding a customer's name onto a standard product on the customer's product attitude from the perspective of the name-letter effect and psychological ownership theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 experiment was conducted to test the name effect in customization services. The main effects, mediation effects and moderation effects were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and PROCESS 2.16.3.

Findings

Adding customers' personal names onto a standard product positively affected their attitude toward the product, and these effects were mediated by psychological ownership. Furthermore, customers' responses were moderated by self-threat, whereby threatening customers' self-concept enhanced their attitude toward the product that had their name on it.

Originality/value

This study found a positive name effect that is applicable to customization services. It also identified mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this effect. Therefore this study extends previous studies on customization services that have solely focusing on complex product personalization by focusing on a service that requires less effort and a more basic customization service. This study also extends previous findings about name-letter effects by focusing on the associations between an individual and an object that are induced by shared name letters and by studying how directly adding a personal name onto an object can influence these associations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research is supported by grants from 2018 Guizhou University of Finance and Economics Initiation Project of Introducing Talents for Scientific Research (No. 2018YJ94).The research is supported by grants from MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Youth Foundation Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (No. 20YJC630055).

Citation

Kou, Y., Shuai, Z. and Powpaka, S. (2021), "The name effect in customization service: the role of psychological ownership and self-threat", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 493-511. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-08-2019-0181

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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