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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Rafal Ohme and Christo Boshoff

Some marketers have challenged psychologists’ contention that human beings can only learn by using conscious effort. They argue that advertising can be effective at low…

Abstract

Purpose

Some marketers have challenged psychologists’ contention that human beings can only learn by using conscious effort. They argue that advertising can be effective at low levels of (or even no) attention. Also, despite the absence of (or low levels of) consciousness, these subconscious responses can be linked to brands. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of implicit learning in the context of logo substitution – an image that may not look like the original logo, and may not even be consciously associated with the original brand or its logo.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by means of two quasi-experimental studies.

Findings

The results suggest that, thanks to implicit learning, logo substitution can be effective.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation was that data were collected from two relatively small convenience samples.

Practical implications

Logo substitution can be of value when a company faces a situation when advertising is banned or restricted, when the target market is saturated with marketing stimuli (clutter) and when there is a risk that aggressive advertising can lead to psychological reactance. The purpose of logo substitution would then be to unobtrusively activate mental representations closely related to the original logo.

Originality/value

The central contribution of this study is that it demonstrates how the principles of implicit social cognition, implicit learning and logo substitution can be used by marketers to overcome the undesirable and even adverse advertising circumstances they sometimes face.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Jacques Nel and Christo Boshoff

Digital-only banks are emerging as challenger banks to the traditional-bank business model in South Africa. However, traditional-bank customers could resist the use of…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital-only banks are emerging as challenger banks to the traditional-bank business model in South Africa. However, traditional-bank customers could resist the use of digital-only banks, theoretically due to their satisfaction with the status quo. Consequently, inertia arising from bias to traditional banks based on status quo satisfaction could engender their resistance to become customers of digital-only banks. The objective of the study, therefore, is to investigate how traditional-bank customers' inertia influences digital-only bank resistance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review, digital-only bank adoption barriers and cognitive-based initial distrusting beliefs were identified as mediators of the influence of inertia on digital-only bank resistance. To test the mediation model empirically, data was collected from 610 traditional-bank-only customers.

Findings

The five adoption barriers fully mediate the influence of inertia on cognitive-based initial distrusting beliefs. The five barriers in serial with cognitive-based initial distrusting beliefs partially mediate the influence of traditional-bank customers' inertia on digital-only bank resistance. Cognitive-based initial distrusting belief is an essential factor in the mechanism underlying the influence of traditional-bank customers' inertia on digital-only bank resistance.

Originality/value

Digital-only banks are relatively new. Research is therefore lacking in consumer behavior explaining the use of digital-only banks by traditional-bank customers in the South African context. A further novelty of the study is the empirical assessment of mechanisms that explain the influence of inertia on cognitive-based initial distrusting beliefs, and the influence of inertia on resistance behavior.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2020

Jacques Nel and Christo Boshoff

Shopping statistics indicate that online shoppers prefer purchasing products using the desktop website of the retailer, rather than using the mobile website on a mobile…

Abstract

Purpose

Shopping statistics indicate that online shoppers prefer purchasing products using the desktop website of the retailer, rather than using the mobile website on a mobile phone to purchase products (mobile website purchasing). Therefore, using status quo bias theory, this study aims to investigate mobile website purchasing resistance of those customers using only desktop website purchasing.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the conceptual model an online questionnaire was used to collect data from customers purchasing products using only the desktop website on a computer (n = 484) and not the retailer’s mobile website.

Findings

Due to cognitive dissonance, customers using only desktop purchasing trivialize mobile website purchasing perceived attractiveness while perceiving more cognitive effort in mobile website purchasing to maintain consonance with their inertia. Further, relative advantage perceptions of mobile website purchasing lead to more trivialization of mobile website purchasing attractiveness perceptions. Desktop purchasing inertia enhances resistance through alternative attractiveness and cognitive effort perceptions, respectively, and cognitive effort and alternative attractiveness perceptions in serial. Desktop purchasing habit has the strongest positive influence on desktop purchasing inertia.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in a high-involvement product context. Replication in a low-involvement product context is necessary to confirm the robustness of the results.

Practical implications

Retailers can use the findings to develop strategies to lower mobile website purchasing resistance in an online-mobile concurrent channel environment.

Originality/value

The study provides novel insights into mobile website purchasing resistance in an online-mobile concurrent channel environment. Further, the study addresses the gap in research on inertia and switching costs in the adoption of concurrent channels.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Chris Pentz, Nic Terblanche and Christo Boshoff

Despite today’s globalised business world, there is a dearth of knowledge on the influence of consumer ethnocentrism on the purchasing behaviour of consumers in developing…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite today’s globalised business world, there is a dearth of knowledge on the influence of consumer ethnocentrism on the purchasing behaviour of consumers in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumer ethnocentrism, its antecedents and consequences in a developing country (South Africa) and makes recommendations to firms wishing to do business in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted among a national sample of South African respondents using a structured questionnaire. The study is unique in that two samples were used, a sample of white and a sample of black respondents. By using two ethnically diverse samples, it was possible to investigate whether there are similarities and/or differences in terms of consumer ethnocentrism, its antecedents and consequences among two major ethnic groups in South Africa.

Findings

The findings suggest that the antecedents of cultural openness, patriotism, individualism and a history of oppression influence consumer ethnocentrism among both black and white South Africans. It was further established that the antecedent nationalism exerts an influence on consumer ethnocentrism among white South African consumers, but not among black South African consumers.

Practical implications

The results of the study are of value for South African firms as well as those further afield, when developing marketing strategies for the diverse consumer market in South Africa.

Originality/value

This study adds to the existing body of knowledge on consumer ethnocentrism in an emerging market, and more specifically, among different ethnic groups in the same country.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Christo Boshoff

The purpose of this study is to investigate consumers’ subconscious/emotional responses to brand tarnishment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate consumers’ subconscious/emotional responses to brand tarnishment.

Design/methodology/approach

Brand tarnishment and the responses of business firms in protecting their brands against economic harm have been controversial topics for many years. Unfortunately, those who have resorted to the courts to protect their brands have met with mixed success, mainly because the methodologies used to demonstrate economic harm have proved controversial. One caveat in the history of court cases is the absence of any investigation related to emotional responses to brand dilution in general, and to brand tarnishment in particular. This is so, despite several calls to investigate this relationship.

Findings

It is concluded that the brand tarnishment of fairly well-known brands is largely ineffectual (neutral emotional responses).

Research limitations/implications

The primary contribution of this study is that, for the first time, some light is shed on consumers’ emotional responses to brand tarnishment. Irrespective of the neurophysiological measure used, the results consistently demonstrate that the subconscious responses to brand tarnishment are generally neutral. The results thus do not suggest any likelihood of severe economic harm due to negative emotional responses to brand tarnishment.

Practical implications

The results of this study have important managerial implications for brand managers, and particularly for those responsible for relatively well-established brands. It is clear that at the unconscious level, brand tarnishment is not as harmful as many seem to believe. There is evidence that brands will not be harmed if the “tarnishment” consists of social commentary.

Social implications

It could also suggest that consumers can differentiate between different forms of tarnishment, and that tarnishment involving social commentary is not frowned upon. This may be because the consumer agrees with the social commentary, or finds it amusing. In short, it seems that consumers may see the tarnishment as mildly amusing, but realize that it is not of a serious nature.

Originality/value

The results seem to suggest that legal action against those who tarnish brands is unnecessary and probably ineffective. Instead, this study proposes more innovative ways to respond to brand tarnishment.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Christo Boshoff

To do an empirical assessment of the psychometric properties of an instrument that captures the multi‐dimensional nature of satisfaction with service recovery (RECOVSAT…

Abstract

Purpose

To do an empirical assessment of the psychometric properties of an instrument that captures the multi‐dimensional nature of satisfaction with service recovery (RECOVSAT) using data (post‐recovery satisfaction ratings) from customers who have actually complained to a service firm.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is a survey of bank clients who have lodged complaints with a retail bank.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that a refined and shorter version of RECOVSAT demonstrates excellent construct validity when used to measure the post‐recovery satisfaction of complaining customers.

Research limitations/implications

RECOVSAT is a valid and reliable instrument that can and should be used by service managers to assess customer satisfaction with their service recovery efforts. Failure to ensure that complaining customers are satisfied with the firm's service recovery efforts, can only lead to serious problems, as the service firm will be letting the customer down for the second time.

Practical implications

Practitioners or service firms can use their customer complaint database to calculate satisfaction with service recovery scores (RECOVSAT scores) for different geographical regions, for different business units or different departments, even per individual employee. These scores can even be linked to remuneration or service level agreements.

Originality/value

First study to empirically assess the psychometric properties of an instrument that captures the multi‐dimensional nature of satisfaction with service recovery using data (post‐recovery satisfaction ratings) from customers who have actually complained to a service firm. Confirmed validity and reliability.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Christo Boshoff and Madéle Tait

Argues that one theme that has emerged consistently in the recent services marketing literature is the importance of frontline employees in service delivery. The internal…

Abstract

Argues that one theme that has emerged consistently in the recent services marketing literature is the importance of frontline employees in service delivery. The internal marketing concept is based on the belief that a firm’s internal market/employees can be motivated to strive for customer‐consciousness, market orientation and sales‐mindedness through the application of accepted external marketing approaches and principles. Considers in this study that these objectives could be achieved by marketing, among others, the service firm’s goals, objectives and values to frontline employees. A causal model was constructed which included organizational commitment (as an intervening variable), frontline employees’ own perceptions of the service quality they deliver, and the service quality their supervisors believe they deliver as endogenous latent variables. The model was empirically evaluated with data from frontline employees in the banking and insurance industries.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Christo Boshoff and Janine Allen

This study considers the impact that some organisational factors can have on a service firm’s ability to return dissatisfied customers to a state of satisfaction through…

Abstract

This study considers the impact that some organisational factors can have on a service firm’s ability to return dissatisfied customers to a state of satisfaction through service recovery. In other words, it investigates the potential impact organisational variables (modelled as antecedents) can have on the service recovery performance of frontline staff. It also assesses the impact that successful service recovery has on two outcome variables, namely, intentions to resign and job satisfaction. The results show that organisational commitment exerts a strong positive influence on the service recovery performance of frontline staff as does empowerment and rewarding them for service excellence. When frontline staff are performing service recovery effectively, they are less likely to resign and report higher levels of job satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Bruce R. Klemz, Christo Boshoff and Noxolo‐Eileen Mazibuko

The purpose of this study is to assess differences between the guidance offered by cultural studies in the services literature and the retailing literature for emerging…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess differences between the guidance offered by cultural studies in the services literature and the retailing literature for emerging markets. To research these differences, the role that the contact person has towards South African township residents' willingness to buy is to be assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

A services quality survey of black (ethnic Xhosa) township residents was performed for two different retail types: new, small, independently owned grocery retailers located within the townships, and established, large, national chains located within the city centres. The influence of these services quality measures on willingness to buy was assessed using the partial least squares method for each of the two retail types. Differences between the model parameters for these two retail types were assessed using ANOVA.

Findings

The results show that, consistent with the retailing literature, the contact people in these new, small, local and independently owned retailers focus extensively on empathy to influence willingness to buy, while the contact people in the large, traditionally white‐owned national retailers jointly focus on assurance and responsiveness to influence willingness to buy, and spend very little effort on empathy.

Research limitations/implications

Research implications are based on the usefulness of supporting theory, namely that the guidance offered by the cultural studies in the retailing literature is more predictive than that in the services literature for the emerging South African retailing market.

Practical implications

It is found that core elements in relationship marketing are well ingrained in collectivist Xhosa cultural norms. The results suggest that these cultural norms can, and should, be leveraged by the new independently owned grocery retailers.

Originality/value

The research addresses a key concern within emerging markets and offers practical help for retail development within this dynamic economic setting.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Christo Boshoff and Jason Leong

The production of most services depends heavily on human involvement which, by definition, implies variability. The difficulty of standardising human behaviour during…

Abstract

The production of most services depends heavily on human involvement which, by definition, implies variability. The difficulty of standardising human behaviour during service delivery at a level expected by customers is exacerbated by the simultaneity of production and consumption. When service failures occur, the presence of customers leaves little scope for corrective action without the customer being aware of the mishap. The difficulty in avoiding visible service failures does not have to result in dissatisfied customers, however. Service firms can go a long way towards turning dissatisfied customers who have had a negative service experience into ones who are likely to remain loyal to the firm. That, however, requires an effective service recovery programme. This study pursued two objectives. The empirical results show that attribution (the firm accepting blame) is, relatively speaking, the dimension most important to customers in their assessment of the service recovery effort, followed by empowerment and apology. Once a service failure has occurred, customers prefer to deal with staff who are empowered to solve their problem quickly and they do not want to hear that someone else is to blame. An apology in person or, alternatively, by telephone is preferable. Surprisingly, pre‐service failure perceptions do not influence the customer’s satisfaction with the recovery effort, suggesting that service recovery is situation‐specific.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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