Qualitative Consumer Research: Volume 14

Cover of Qualitative Consumer Research
Subject:

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xvi
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Purpose

Cognitive literary criticism is introduced as a bridge between cognitive approaches to the study of persuasion, and literary traditions in consumer research. As a successor to reader-response theory, cognitive literary theory focuses on the cognitive processes of interpretation, while keeping an eye on the aesthetic properties of the text. Paradigmatically cautious researchers might shy away from attempts to marry positivist cognitive constructs to interpretivist cultural theory, but this chapter argues that these qualms also conceal missed opportunities for the study of persuasion.

Methodology/approach

Insights from cognitive literary criticism are demonstrated at the hand of a LEGO ad.

Findings

Theory of mind and conceptual blending are crucial cognitive skills involved in the interpretation of persuasive texts.

Originality/value

Most research to date has kept literary and cognitive approaches to persuasion separate, black-boxing the processes of persuasion. This chapter argues for a revitalization of interest in aesthetic detail, informed by insights from cognitive science.

Purpose

This study is set out to assess the country of origin effect on Turkish consumption practices in order to provide a richer context for its formation process.

Methodology/approach

The research is exploratory and interpretative in nature. It follows a qualitative design with in-depth analysis of consumption experiences by utilizing semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The research shows that country of origin effect is product specific, and when it exists, it has an essential effect on product evaluations. It reveals that the country of origin effect is intrinsically constituted with the individual perceptions of and attitudes toward brands, countries, and past experiences, and it is extrinsically constituted with socially created perceptions by media, marketplace myths, and popularity.

Originality/value

This research investigated country of origin effect in a specific context of a developing country with a qualitative methodology. Unlike the existing literature, this study analyzes consumers’ actual purchase decisions in different product categories. Country of origin effect is found to be formed by individual and societal factors.

Purpose

To examine bad credit experiences in the context of identity to understand the entanglement between bad credit and the deformation of identity.

Methodology/approach

A qualitative method using depth interviews and hermeneutical analysis.

Findings

Bad credit is a major life event and plays a critical role in identity. By restricting or eliminating identity construction and maintenance through consumption, identities are deformed. Consumer identities are deformed as they are consumed by the identity deformation process as normal patterns of consumption that have built and supported their identities are disrupted and demolished. Bad credit is overwhelmingly consumptive of consumers – it consumes their time, energy, patience, lifestyle, relationships, social connections, and perhaps most importantly, it consumes their identity as it deforms who they are.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers need to examine more closely not just the creation and maintenance of identity, but also how identity is deformed and deconstructed through consumption experiences that can no longer be enjoyed.

Social implications

Government agencies may want to reexamine policies toward the granting of credit to reduce the incidence of loading up consumers with credit they are not able to pay for. The deformation of identity may result in anti-social behavior, although our study does not address this directly.

Originality/value

This study is different from previous work in several ways. We focus on identity deformation due to bad credit. By analyzing a crisis response that transcends the specific impetus of bad credit, we extend identity theory by developing an insight into “identities-in-crisis.” We also provide a theoretical framework and explore how consumers’ identities are deformed and renegotiated.

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Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the phenomenon of “showrooming” in which shoppers use mobile devices in retail stores to check prices and other data on products that they then may buy online.

Methodology/approach

We conducted depth interviews with 50 consumers, 13 small retailers, and 6 large retailers.

Findings

We identified four distinct behavioral groups of customers and six strategies small retailers are currently using or could use to address the potential problems showrooming can create. We also identified a new type of reference pricing.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides a guide researchers can use in further work on showrooming. The research consists of depth interviews. It is possible that other types of retailers may have developed other strategies not identified here or that a larger number of non-student participants would have identified other categories, though differences between students and non-students in our sample were not noteworthy.

Practical implications

This chapter provides a practical guide to small retailers as to how they can deal with the growing practice of showrooming, helping them to choose strategic responses based on the types of consumers they serve.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to be published in an academic journal on the value of showrooming. It provides a typology of consumers grouped by their behavior, that is, how and why they engage or don’t engage in showrooming. This can help academic researchers in future research as well as managers of small retail businesses. We also identified a new, third type of reference pricing.

Purpose

This chapter aims to explore how supermarketization structure consumption of poor people and its sociocultural and moral consequences. In other words, this study expands the role of supermarketization in influencing consumer culture in Turkey.

Methodology/approach

An action research approach was used to analyze the in-depth interview data and field notes.

Findings

Before the supermarketization effect Turkish food retail industry was highly dominated by small, independent, and mostly family-owned single-location retailers: bakkal (neighborhood store which carries a wide range of both food and nonfood items with less than 100 square meters of floor space), manav (greengrocery), kasap (butcher), mandıra (dairy), fırın (bakery), and others. Bakkals – the focus of this research, make an analogy between the mushrooming of chain supermarkets and a cancerous tissue. The findings of this research reveal that not only in economic but also in social, moral, and cultural terms that these subaltern consumers cannot survive without bakkals.

Practical implications

The results of this research will provide some useful coping strategies for poverty confronting marketplace forces by reflecting on the grocery consumption patterns of subalterns. In addition, the findings will yield insights for unemployment among grocers by creating competitive advantage to maintain their existence against the influence of organized retailers.

Social implications

Any contribution in poverty alleviation shall appease concerns about the role of poverty in fostering undesired consequences such as terrorism. Since poor consumers have scant resources and little education to develop a culture in more legitimized forms, it is likely that they become more vulnerable due to marketization effects on their sociocultural evolution.

Originality/value

Given the level of public interest in organized retailers and subaltern consumers, there has been surprisingly little research on both foreign- and domestic-organized retailers’ impact on traditional small size grocers and subaltern consumers. In addition, sociocultural and moral aspects of retailing and consequences of retailing activities, particularly, on subaltern consumers have not been fully explored.

Purpose

Many companies struggle with the assessment of customer experience. This chapter aims to demonstrate how mobile ethnography tackles this issue by assessing data in a holistical way, in-situ, and in real-time.

Methodology/approach

The chapter describes the implementation of a mobile ethnography project in a tourist destination, including participant recruitment, data collection, data analysis, and the derivation of insights.

Findings

The mobile ethnography project allowed to gain deep insights into the customers’ journeys.

Research limitations/implications

Future research will need to further investigate questions of participant recruitment, the effectiveness of incentives as well as the performance of the data collection process. Furthermore the findings of this case need to be replicated in the context of other industries, as well as in other cultural contexts.

Practical implications

Mobile ethnography allows companies to gain more information on customer experience in real-time, thus with reduced cognitive and emotional bias. Therefore, the method can help to improve the touristic service offering and, consequently, customer experience.

Originality/value

As companies are searching for new approaches to research and manage customer experience, this chapter is of high value for both academia and practice.

Purpose

The health industry is rapidly adopting digital services and face-to-face offerings are being replaced by e-services. One example is peer-to-peer survivor networks for cancer patients. This study investigates the virtual exchanges in survivor networks and whether these exchanges are valued for economic, symbolic, or expressive worth. The research seeks to address whether the alleviation of loneliness is possible.

Methodology/approach

The qualitative work in this study utilizes netnographic explorations and in-depth interviews with cancer survivors, average age 62, to investigate the social exchange continuum in peer-to-peer online patient survivor networks.

Findings

This study shows that technological innovations can aid survivorship when the exchanges are meaningful. Meaningful interactions within gift systems are valued for expressive worth and are established upon the notion of selfless gifts where the giver expects nothing in return. For networks to operate via expressiveness, informants must be open and vulnerable to others. Findings show that biographical narratives are useful tools for creating an expressive environment and givers become more giving after engaging in selfless acts. The intangibility and immaterial nature of virtual gifts creates a collective identity and fosters an aggregate extended self.

Social implications

Implications emphasize the need among survivors of trauma to connect with others. Digital technologies allow connections on a global scale, so survivors can find others with similar needs. Peer-to-peer networks provide a way for survivors to meet, interact with, and extend their aggregate selves through other survivors, while experiencing a transcendent sense that they are part of something bigger than self alone.

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Purpose

Price has conventionally been viewed as an indicator of either monetary sacrifice or product quality. Previous studies on price are preoccupied with reactions and perceptions of consumers upon encountering price information. Research with explicit discussion of the meanings of price to consumers is rare. The purpose of the current research is to revisit the meaning of price to consumers in general, the deeper meanings that price has for people, and the conventional meanings that it carries.

Methodology/approach

Three focus groups and nine in-depth interviews were conducted. A total of 36 individuals participated in the study.

Findings

Our findings suggest that the notion of price is multifaceted. In addition to the conventional meanings, price can be related to how consumers perceive themselves and/or their lives in the socioeconomic order they inhabit.

Practical implications

Managerially, exploring the meanings of price could yield further productive results. As the implications of price regarding how consumers feel about themselves are revealed, pricing strategies that yield greater satisfaction for consumers can be discovered and implemented.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, research with an explicit focus on the meaning of price for adult consumers is rare. By providing deeper insights into what price truly means to consumers, this study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of price.

Purpose

The chapter investigates factors shaping convenience orientation in the 21st century as well as present-day barriers to the consumption of food and non-food convenience products.

Methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach with two kinds of data triangulation is used. Multiple key informants (marketing managers and consumers) allow a consideration from different angles and multiple methodologies (in-depth and focus group interviews) help to gain deeper insights into the topic.

Findings

Convenience orientation comprises dimensions that were previously not considered in marketing research. In addition to the known factors time and effort saving, consumers buy convenience products because of the flexibility they provide. Moreover, concerns for health, environment, and quality are important barriers that prevent consumers from buying and consuming convenience products.

Research limitations/implications

Our results suggest that factors increasing and decreasing convenience consumption depend at least partly on the product category. Future research should integrate various other product groups to further explore domain-specific convenience orientation.

Practical implications

The conceptualization of convenience orientation offers important implications for new product development as well as for the design of the marketing mix. For instance, existing barriers could be overcome by improving transparency or meeting environmental concerns.

Originality/value

The chapter reveals the factors shaping the consumption of convenience products. The presented findings are important to academics researching convenience consumption and practitioners producing and distributing convenience products.

Purpose

Consumers are increasingly present in multiple spaces. For instance, many people choose to browse their smartphones for product reviews, while shopping at the traditional brick-and-mortar store. How is their presence affected in such scenarios? Can they be fully present in the store? How is their overall consumption experience impacted? This chapter addresses such questions and explores the nature and role of presence, which is defined as the “feeling of ‘being there’ in the present, the here and now of the physical or a virtual world” (Waterworth & Waterworth, 2006, p. 82).

Methodology/approach

Drawing on findings from different literatures (e.g., marketing, communications), a conceptual approach is used to identify the underlying components of presence and to explore how this construct relates to customer experience.

Findings

Preliminary assertions suggest that presence has a spatial structure. It is concerned with two distinctions. First, presence may vary depending on the level of physicality or virtuality. Second, presence may change based on whether someone is perceiving stimuli in the external environment (what is happening around us in the physical or virtual space) or is lost (i.e., absent) in the internal world of dreams, thoughts, and imaginations.

Research implications

From a theoretical perspective, this research introduces the presence construct from communications to the marketing literature. Studying consumption experiences through the lens of presence contributes to our understanding of how they are affected by simultaneous activities of customers in physical and virtual spaces.

Practical implications

From a managerial perspective, marketers are encouraged to develop new strategies that account for customers’ presence in various spaces, in order to gain their attention.

Purpose

The objective is to extend the concept of purse parties introduced by Gosline (2009) and to explore the phenomenon of counterfeit consumption through the in-home “purse parties” channel. The authors seek to reveal themes from the depth interviews and build a consumer typology reflecting attitudes toward purse parties and counterfeit luxury products.

Method/approach

The method is a qualitative phenomenological approach. Authors assessed attitudes toward purse party attendance and counterfeit goods – along with any subsequent behavioral intentions or behaviors. Authors addressed the objective using depth interviews among 28 women.

Findings

Findings included five emerging themes: distinctness of in-home consumption settings, obligatory attendance, social engagement, curiosity, and disregard for legalities of counterfeit consumption/disdain for purse parties.

Research limitations

The sample primarily consists of female colleges students and is not representative of all consumers. Due to social desirability bias and the controversial nature of counterfeit consumption, informants may have struggled to provide honest responses.

Social implications

Research implications suggest potential increases in purse party events and consumption due to informant’s blatant disregard for the legalities of the practice, and interests in social engagement, intimacy (exclusivity), and curiosity.

Originality/value

The main contribution is a typology representing four types of purse party consumers: loyal, curious/social, skeptic, and disengaged. This proposed typology stems from the aforementioned themes uncovered. Further, authors identify the social implications of in-home purse parties and underscore the significance of an under-investigated purchase channel.

Index

Pages 273-276
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Cover of Qualitative Consumer Research
DOI
10.1108/S1548-6435201714
Publication date
2017-08-01
Book series
Review of Marketing Research
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-492-7
eISBN
978-1-78714-491-0
Book series ISSN
1548-6435