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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 13, Issue 1
Welcome to this first issue of 2012. The papers originate from countries across the globe and this is one of the characteristics and strengths of Young Consumers but they also cover a range of methodologies. We start with three papers that use a qualitative and interpretive technique to provide insights.
The first is by Louise Pendry, Avril Mewse and Carole Burgoyne who explored attitudes of parents in England toward using cloth or disposable nappies (aka diapers) with their children. The participants used were adult, but the content of this paper deals with products consumed by infants and as such falls within the revised scope of Young Consumers (see my Editorial last quarter). Although “cloth v. disposable” has a “green” resonance, Louise and her colleagues using focus groups and thematic analysis have discovered a more complex map of various costs and benefits that underlie decision making by parents.
Next we have Valérie Hémar-Nicolas and Mathilde Gollety who look at brand characters and how they function and provide meaning for children in France. They examined both children’s and brand managers’ views on the process and concluded that successful characters are those that are used in the long-term and provide experiences that resonate with the child’s life. Simona Ironico is also interested in how children confer meaning on different goods and in an innovative study she explored how these meanings emerge in retail settings in Italy. Children see stores as places to play as well as to buy and by observing the play of children in shops Simona discovered how meanings of brands of clothes are subverted, appropriated and constructed by children. There are considerable implications here for marketing and the design of child-friendly retail environments.
Conceptual papers are always welcome and we have one by Violet Lazarevic from Australia who is interested in brand loyalty in young adults or more precisely “generation Y” consumers who have been notoriously fickle in their brand loyalty. Her detailed analysis emphasising for example the importance of integrated marketing communications will prove valuable to academics and practitioners alike and it also provides an excellent source for students looking for a readable and well-referenced introduction to this aspect of generational theory.
Finally, in the academic section we have another three empirical papers that use a more traditional quantitative approach. Dwane Dean is no stranger to these pages and he presents us with a lively analysis of the motives of young adults in off-road motorcycling in the USA. This sport is a risky activity although there are hedonistic and other benefits. However self-control as a variable has received little attention as a factor influencing perceived risk in sport and Dwane found that it exerted a relatively unique influence on risk to self.
Jongeun Rhee and Kim Johnson looked at the extent to which liking for different clothes by adolescents, also in the USA, could be predicted by self-concept development. Clothes have an obvious privilege when adolescents negotiate their identity and one feature that was chosen by Jongeun and Kim was the congruence or fit between aspects of the self and the brand. She found that adolescent consumers liked apparel brands that they linked to their ideal social self-concept and that this connection was particularly strong for male adolescents with less established identities.
The last paper in the academic section is by three academics: Ivan-Damir Ani and Edo Rajh from Croatia and Arnela Bevanda from Bosnia and Herzegovina. They wanted to see if the consumer decision making styles of young adults in that part of the world were structured in the same way as has been found in other research. Their results using factor analysis make a valuable contribution to the literature especially as Bosnia and Herzegovina can be seen as a developing transitional economy.
In the practitioner part of the journal, Bryan Urbick returns to our pages with an informative piece giving an insight into his company’s vision of research. I particularly appreciated the insights into the deeper motives that drove kids’ food choice by parents. Finally we have our regular column brought to you by GALA, the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance, where regulations and codes of practice across the world are described. This quarter we look at Turkey.
I hope you enjoy reading all of these valuable papers and many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.
Dr Brian YoungEditor