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Article
Publication date: 24 January 2018

Jasmina Ilicic, Stacey M. Baxter and Alicia Kulczynski

This research aims to examine the effect of spokesperson facial symmetry on advertisement attitude, brand attitude and purchase intention and the mediating role of source…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to examine the effect of spokesperson facial symmetry on advertisement attitude, brand attitude and purchase intention and the mediating role of source authenticity on attitudinal and behavioral judgments.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies were undertaken. Study 1 examined the effect of facial symmetry on source authenticity and endorsement effectiveness. Study 2 investigated the influence of the authentic facial cues of freckles and moles on source authenticity and advertisement attitude, brand attitude and purchase intention.

Findings

Findings indicate that source authenticity is the mechanism that explains attitudinal and behavioral judgments toward advertisements featuring asymmetrical spokespeople. The phenomenon observed is due to a proposed source authenticity overgeneralization effect, whereby spokespeople with asymmetrical faces are perceived as more genuine and real which, subsequently, results in more positive attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand and greater purchase intention than advertisements featuring spokespeople with symmetrical faces. The addition of authentic (biological) facial cues (i.e. freckles and moles) on spokespeople with a symmetrical facial structure, however, can heighten perceptions of source authenticity and the manifestation of the source authenticity overgeneralization effect.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for marketing managers in the selection and depiction of spokespeople in their advertisements. However, this research is limited, as it only examines the facial feature characteristics of symmetry, freckles, and moles.

Originality/value

This research shows that an asymmetrical facial structure can positively influence source, attitudinal and behavioral judgments. This research also identifies that although symmetrical facial structures dilute source- and endorsement-based judgments, the addition of authentic facial cues, freckles and moles, can reverse the negative effects and enhance perceptions of source authenticity, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2018

Jasmina Ilicic, Stacey Baxter and Alicia Kulczynski

The purpose of this study is to introduce the homophone emotional interest superiority effect in phonological, or sound-based, priming, whereby pseudohomophone brand names…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to introduce the homophone emotional interest superiority effect in phonological, or sound-based, priming, whereby pseudohomophone brand names (i.e. non-words that are pronounced identically to English words, for example, Bie) prime brand meaning associated with the member of the homophone pair that is emotionally interesting (i.e. Bie will be prime brand avoidance (purchase) when consumers are emotionally interested in the homophone bye [buy]).

Design/methodology/approach

Studies 1 and 2 examine the effect of homophone emotional interest on brand judgements and behaviours. Study 3 investigates the role of boredom with the brand name in attenuating the homophone emotional interest superiority effect.

Findings

Findings indicate that pseudohomophone brand names prime brand judgements and behaviours associated with the word from the homophone pair that evokes emotional interest. Study 2 provides further evidence of homophone emotional interest as the process influencing brand judgements and behaviours. Study 3 establishes that the effect of pseudohomophone brand names on brand judgements weaken when boredom with the brand name is induced.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited, as it focuses only on fictitious brands and methodologically creates boredom in a way in which may not be typical of what would be experienced in the real world.

Practical implications

This study has important implications for brand managers in the development of new brand names and in prioritising the intended homophone pair from a pseudohomophone brand name to influence consumer judgements and behaviours.

Originality/value

This study introduces and provides evidence of a homophone emotional interest superiority effect. This study also identifies a condition under which the homophone emotional interest superiority effect is attenuated.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Christine Armstrong, Alicia Kulczynski and Stacey Brennan

Online consumer complaint behaviour that is observable to other consumers provides the firm with an opportunity to demonstrate transparency and service quality to the…

Abstract

Purpose

Online consumer complaint behaviour that is observable to other consumers provides the firm with an opportunity to demonstrate transparency and service quality to the public eye. The purpose of this paper is to assist practitioners with a strategy to increase perceived accommodativeness in complaint management on social media and reduce the social risk associated with online consumer complaint behaviour using a social exchange theory perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Six online experiments with 1,350 US Facebook users were conducted to investigate the effect of supportive and non-supportive virtually present others, and employee intervention on a consumer’s choice to complain, likelihood to make an observable complaint (on the Facebook page) and likelihood to make a non-observable complaint (via Facebook Messenger). The mediating role of perceived accommodativeness and subsequent social risk is also examined.

Findings

Supportive comments made to the complainant by virtually present others were found to influence participants’ decision to complain, heighten participants’ likelihood to complain about the Facebook page and reduce their likelihood to complain via Facebook Messenger. This effect was reversed in the presence of non-supportive virtually present others and was explained by perceived social risk. Further, a participant’s likelihood to complain about the Facebook page was increased when an employee intervention was directed at a non-supportive comment made to a complainant, by a virtually present other. This effect was explained by the perceived accommodativeness of the employee interaction.

Research limitations/implications

The findings advance research on online consumer complaint behaviour by investigating how employee intervention can be used to increase the likelihood of an observable complaint. This research is limited in that it does not incorporate individual characteristics, such as introversion/extroversion and propensity to respond to peer pressure, which may affect participant responses.

Practical implications

This research shows that perceptions of social risk are most effectively reduced by employee intervention directed at a non-supportive comment (made to a complainant) of a virtually present other. Consumer complaint management strategies aimed at minimising perceptions of social risk and encouraging observable online complaint behaviour are proposed.

Originality/value

This research extends the consumer complaint behaviour taxonomy by introducing the term “observable complaining”, that is, visible complaints made on a Facebook page, and broadens understanding of the organisation’s role in managing non-supportive virtually present others to assuage perceptions of social risk in potential complainants.

Article
Publication date: 24 March 2021

Amanda Kennedy, Stacey M. Baxter and Alicia Kulczynski

This paper aims to examine the importance of celebrity brands in influencing consumer perceptions of celebrity authenticity, which drives positive consumer attitudes and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the importance of celebrity brands in influencing consumer perceptions of celebrity authenticity, which drives positive consumer attitudes and intentions. In addition, the notion of low-celebrity investment is investigated as a factor that diminishes the positive outcomes associated with celebrity brands.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 examines the effect of brand situation (endorsement versus celebrity brand) on consumer attitudes and intentions. Studies 2 and 3 investigate the role of celebrity authenticity in explaining the effects observed in Study 1. Study 4 examines celebrity investment as a bound of the phenomenon.

Findings

Study 1 demonstrates that consumers report heightened attitudes and intentions towards celebrity brands when compared to endorsements. Studies 2 and 3 provide evidence that authenticity explains the effects observed in Study 1. Results of Study 4 show that when consumers are aware of low-celebrity investment, the celebrity is viewed as inauthentic regardless of brand situation.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited as it focuses only on known celebrity endorsers who were matched with products that had a high level of fit. In addition, purchase intentions were measured as opposed to the study of actual purchase behaviour.

Practical implications

This research has important implications for the development of endorsements and celebrity brands by demonstrating that consumers view celebrities as authentic when they are involved with brands for reasons other than monetary compensation.

Originality/value

This research shows that consumers have heightened attitudes and intentions towards celebrity brands compared to endorsements. This research identifies celebrity authenticity as the process underlying the observed phenomenon. However, celebrity investment is identified as a boundary condition demonstrating that knowledge of low investment results in a celebrity being viewed as inauthentic.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Stacey Baxter, Jasmina Ilicic and Alicia Kulczynski

This paper aims to introduce pseudohomophone phonological priming effects (non-words that sound like real words with a single semantic representation, such as Whyte primes…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce pseudohomophone phonological priming effects (non-words that sound like real words with a single semantic representation, such as Whyte primes white) on consumers’ product attribute and benefit-based judgments.

Design/methodology/approach

Four studies were conducted. Study 1 examines whether pseudohomophone brand names (e.g. Whyte) prime associative meaning (i.e. the perception of light bread; target: white). Study 2 investigates the pseudohomophone priming process. In Study 3, the authors examine the influence of brand knowledge of pseudohomophone priming effects.

Findings

The findings indicate that pseudohomophone brand names prime associative meaning, due to retrieval of phonology (sound) of the word during processing. Pseudohomophone priming effects for a semantically (meaningful) incongruent brand name manifest only when consumers do not have knowledge of the brand, with cognitive capacity constraints rendering consumers with strong brand knowledge unable to mitigate the pseudohomophone priming effect.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for brand managers considering the creation of a name for a new brand that connotes product attributes and benefits. However, this research is limited, as it only examines pseudohomophone brand names with a single semantic representation.

Originality/value

This research shows that sounds activated by pseudohomophones in brand names can influence product judgments. This research also identifies limitations of the applicability of pseudohomophone brand names by identifying a condition under which priming effects are attenuated.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Stacey M Baxter, Jasmina Ilicic, Alicia Kulczynski and Tina Lowrey

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children’s perception of a product’s physical attribute (size) when presented with brand elements (brand name and brand logo…

1964

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate children’s perception of a product’s physical attribute (size) when presented with brand elements (brand name and brand logo) manipulated using sound and shape symbolism principles (brand name sounds and brand logo shape), across children of different developmental ages.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship between sounds and shapes was examined in a pilot study. A 2 × 2 experiment was then undertaken to examine the effect of brand name characteristics (front vowel sound versus back vowel sound) and brand logo design (angular versus curved) on children’s (from 5 to 12 years) product-related judgments.

Findings

Older children use non-semantic brand stimuli as a means to infer physical product attributes. Specifically, only older children are able to perceive a product to be smaller (larger) when the product is paired with a brand name containing a front (back) vowel sound or an angular (curved) brand logo (single symbolic cue). We illustrate that brand logo-related shape symbolism effects are weaker and appear later in age when compared with brand name-related sound symbolism effects. Further, younger children are able to infer product attribute meaning when exposed to two symbolic cues (that is, brand name and brand logo).

Practical implications

When selecting an inventive brand element, consideration should be given to the relationship between the vowel sounds contained in a brand’s name and product attributes, and also the shape of the brand’s logo and product attributes.

Originality/value

This is the first experiment undertaken to examine the combination of brand name- and brand logo-related symbolism effects in the context of children. We demonstrate that age-based bounds may be overcome through the provision of multiple symbolic cues.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Jasmina Ilicic, Stacey M Baxter and Alicia Kulczynski

The purpose of this paper is to compare the influence of spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) and the sounds contained in a spokesperson’s name (verbal congruence…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the influence of spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) and the sounds contained in a spokesperson’s name (verbal congruence) on consumer perceptions of spokesperson–product fit.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 ensured that verbal congruence impacted perceptions of spokesperson–product fit. Experiment 2 compared the effect of verbal congruence versus traditional match-up (visual congruence) on perceptions of spokesperson–product fit. The mediating role of spokesperson–product fit on attitude towards the advertisement and the moderating role of need for cognition (NFC) was also tested.

Findings

Findings indicate that verbal congruence influences consumer perceptions of fit, regardless of visual congruence. Perceptions of spokesperson–product fit also act as mediators between visual and verbal congruence and attitude towards the advertisement. However, verbal congruence did not influence consumer perceptions of spokesperson–product fit when the NFC was low.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for advertisers and brand managers considering the creation of a name for a non-celebrity spokesperson or the development of a brand/spokes-character. However, this research is limited, as it examines only male names.

Originality/value

This research shows that perceptions of spokesperson and product fit are not only influenced by spokesperson appearance (visual congruence) but also by spokesperson name (verbal congruence). This research also identifies limitations of the applicability of phonetic symbolism theory by identifying a condition under which phonetic symbolism (verbal congruence) exerts no effects on perceptions of spokesperson–product fit.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

– This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Findings indicate that verbal congruence influences consumer perceptions of fit, regardless of visual congruence. Perceptions of spokesperson-product fit also act as mediators between visual and verbal congruence and attitude toward the advertisement.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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