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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Sarah Dodds and Alexandra Claudia Hess

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created a challenging, yet opportunistic, environment in which to conduct transformative service research (TSR) and assess research…

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Abstract

Purpose

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created a challenging, yet opportunistic, environment in which to conduct transformative service research (TSR) and assess research methodology. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and gain important new insights of a group interviewing method with vulnerable people and their support group, adapted and transferred online during COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

This research examines the experiences of 35 participants (nine family groups composed of parents and young people), involved in a research project that explores a sensitive topic, youth alcohol consumption and family communication, that was moved online during lockdown. Researcher reflections on running group interviews face-to-face prior to COVID- 19 and online during lockdown are included in the data.

Findings

Thematic analysis of participant interviews and researcher reflections reveals four key benefits and three limitations of online group interviews with vulnerable people and their support group. The benefits include being comfortable, non-intrusive and safe; engaging and convenient; online communication ease and easy set-up. The limitations relate to lack of non-verbal communication, poor set-up, and privacy and access issues.

Practical implications

The global environment is uncertain and being able to implement effective qualitative research online is essential for TSR and service research in the future. This paper provides a step by step procedure for an innovative online group interviewing technique that can be used by TSR and qualitative service researchers.

Originality/value

Conducting research during a pandemic has provided unprecedented insights into qualitative research approaches and methodology. This paper contributes to literature on service and TSR methodology by providing a framework for researchers to investigate vulnerable groups online in an effective, safe and non-intrusive way. The framework also has the potential to be applied to other service contexts.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Alexandra Claudia Hess and Valentyna Melnyk

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether, how and why gender cues influence brand perception and subsequent purchasing behaviour.

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4451

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether, how and why gender cues influence brand perception and subsequent purchasing behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Across four experimental studies conducted online with either a convenience sample (Studies 1a and 1b) or a representative sample of consumers (Studies 2 and 3), the authors empirically investigate whether gender cues impact brand perception along dimensions of warmth and competence and how other warmth and competence cues in a consumer environment moderate the effect of gender cues on consumer brand perceptions.

Findings

Gender cues (e.g. gender-typed colours and shapes) activate gender-stereotypical knowledge of warmth and competence, which spills over to the brand. This effect depends on the presence of other competence cues in a consumer’s environment. In contrast to conventional practice, in the presence of a high competence cue (e.g. reputable brands), feminine gender cues enhance purchase likelihood (via activation of warmth perceptions), whereas masculine cues actually decrease purchase likelihood. In contrast, in the presence of a low competence cue (e.g. new companies), masculine gender cues enhance purchase likelihood (via activation of competence perceptions), whereas feminine cues lower purchase likelihood.

Research limitations/implications

The authors used an experimental approach to explicitly test for causality and isolate the effect of gender cues in a controlled setting. Future research should further address the implication of gender cues using actual sales data.

Practical implications

Reputable companies often explicitly use cues to highlight their competence. The results of this research suggest that managers may want to reconsider this approach. That is, marketers of brands with established high competence should consider integrating more feminine cues to highlight their warmth, such as feminine shapes (e.g. circles and ovals) or feminine colours (e.g. a shade of pink) in their packaging and marketing communication. In contrast, companies that have not established their competence or not-for-profit organisations would be better off integrating masculine cues.

Originality/value

This is the first research to empirically investigate the effect of gender cues on brand perception and subsequent purchase behaviour. Not only does this research show that gender cues can alter brand perception along the warmth and competence perception but also the authors address the call to identify conditions under which warmth versus competence cues enhance brand perception and purchase likelihood (Aaker et al., 2010). In particular, this research demonstrates how multiple warmth and competence cues interact with each other.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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