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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2020

Bennie Eng and Cheryl Burke Jarvis

This paper aims to demonstrate how consumer attachment to celebrity brands is driven by perceived narratives about the celebrity’s persona, which triggers communal (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate how consumer attachment to celebrity brands is driven by perceived narratives about the celebrity’s persona, which triggers communal (i.e. altruistic) relationship norms. The research investigates the differential role of narratives about celebrities’ personal vs professional lives in creating attachment and identifies and tests moderating effects of narrative characteristics including perceived source of fame, valence and authenticity.

Design/methodology/approach

Three online experiments tested the proposed direct, meditating and moderating relationships. Data was analyzed using mediation analysis and multiple ANOVAs.

Findings

The results suggest relationship norms that are more altruistic in nature fully mediate the relationship between narrative type and brand attachment. Additionally, personal narratives produce stronger attachment than professional narratives; the celebrity’s source of fame moderates narrative type and attachment; and on-brand narratives elicit higher attachment than off-brand narratives, even when these narratives are negative.

Practical implications

The authors offer recommendations for how marketers can shape celebrity brand narratives to build stronger consumer attachment. Notably, personal (vs professional) narratives are critical in building attachment, especially for celebrity brands that are perceived to have achieved their fame. Both positive and negative personal narratives can strengthen attachment for achieved celebrity brands, but only if they are on-brand with consumer expectations.

Originality/value

This research is an introductory examination of the fundamental theoretical process by which celebrity brand relationships develop from brand persona narratives and how characteristics of those narratives influence consumer-brand attachment.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2017

Stefania Farace, Tom van Laer, Ko de Ruyter and Martin Wetzels

This paper aims to assess the effect of narrative transportation, portrayed action and photographic style on viewers’ likelihood to comment on posted consumer photos.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the effect of narrative transportation, portrayed action and photographic style on viewers’ likelihood to comment on posted consumer photos.

Design/methodology/approach

Integrating visual semiotics and experiments, this research examines the influence of consumer photos on viewers’ likelihood to comment on the visualised narrative. One pilot, three experimental and a content analysis involve photos varying in their narrative perspective (selfie vs elsie) and portrayed content (no product, no action or directed action). The authors also test for the boundary condition of the role of the photographic style (snapshot, professional and “parody” selfie) on the likelihood to comment on consumer photos.

Findings

Viewers are more likely to comment on photos displaying action. When these photos are selfies, the effect is exacerbated. The experience of narrative transportation – a feeling of entering a world evoked by the narrative – underlies this effect. However, if a snapshot style is used (primed or manipulated) – namely, the photographic style appears genuine, unconstructed and natural – the superior effect of selfies disappears because of greater perceived silliness of the visualised narrative.

Practical implications

Managers should try to motivate consumers to take selfies portraying action if their aim is to encourage electronic word-of-mouth.

Social implications

Organisations can effectively use consumer photos portraying consumption for educational purpose (e.g. eating healthfully and reducing alcohol use).

Originality/value

This research links consumer photos and electronic word-of-mouth and extends the marketing literature on visual narratives, which is mainly focused on company rather than user-generated content.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

David A. Gilliam, Teresa Preston and John R. Hall

Narratives are central to consumers’ understanding of brands especially during change. The financial crisis that began in 2008 offered a changing marketplace from which to…

Abstract

Purpose

Narratives are central to consumers’ understanding of brands especially during change. The financial crisis that began in 2008 offered a changing marketplace from which to develop two managerially useful frameworks of consumer narratives. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Consumer focus groups, interviews with bankers and qualitative consumer surveys were used to gather consumersnarratives about retail banking. The narratives were examined through frameworks from both the humanities and psychology (narrative identity).

Findings

The individual consumer narratives were used to create first a possible cultural narrative or bird’s eye view and later archetypal narratives of groups of consumers for a ground-level view of the changing marketplace.

Research limitations/implications

Like all early research, the findings must be examined in other contexts to improve generalizability.

Practical implications

The narrative results revealed the impact of change on consumers’ identities, views of other entities and retail banking activity to yield managerially actionable information for segmentation, target marketing, branding and communication.

Originality/value

Frameworks are developed for consumer narratives which are shown to be useful tools in examining consumers’ reactions to changing markets and in formulating marketing responses.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Ross Gordon, Joseph Ciorciari and Tom van Laer

This paper aims to present a study using encephalography (EEG) to investigate consumer responses to narrative videos in energy efficiency social marketing. The purpose is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a study using encephalography (EEG) to investigate consumer responses to narrative videos in energy efficiency social marketing. The purpose is to assess the role of attention, working memory, emotion and imagination in narrative transportation, and how these stages of narrative transportation are ordered temporally.

Design/methodology/approach

Consumers took part in an EEG experiment during which they were shown four different narrative videos to identify brain response during specific video segments.

Findings

The study found that during the opening segment of the videos, attention, working memory and emotion were high before attenuating with some introspection at the end of this segment. During the story segment of the videos attention, working memory and emotion were also high, with attention decreasing later on but working memory, emotion and imagination being evident. Consumer responses to each of the four videos differed.

Practical implications

The study suggests that narratives can be a useful approach in energy efficiency social marketing. Specifically, marketers should attempt to gain focused attention and invoke emotional responses, working memory and imagination to help consumers become narratively transported. The fit between story object and story-receiver should also be considered when creating consumer narratives.

Social implications

Policymakers and organisations that wish to promote pro-social behaviours such as using energy efficiently or eating healthily should consider using narratives.

Originality/value

This research contributes to theory by identifying brain response relating to attention, working memory, emotion and imagination during specific stages of narrative transportation. The study considers the role of attention, emotion, working memory and imagination during reception of stories with different objects, and how these may relate to consumersnarrative transportation.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2015

Allison R. Johnson, Matthew Thomson and Jennifer Jeffrey

Brand narratives are created to differentiate brands, and consumers base their assessments of a brand’s authenticity on this narrative. We propose that the default consumer

Abstract

Purpose

Brand narratives are created to differentiate brands, and consumers base their assessments of a brand’s authenticity on this narrative. We propose that the default consumer position is to accept a brand’s narrative, and we find that consumers maintain belief in this narrative even when explicitly reminded that it is manufactured by firms with an underlying profit motive. Because belief seems to be the default position adopted by consumers, we investigate what factors act as disruptors to this default position, thereby reducing assessments of authenticity.

Methodology

This research uses a series of studies to investigate when and why consumers view some brand stories as authentic and others less so. In addition, we examine the impact of changes to authenticity assessments on managerially important brand outcomes.

Findings

Only when one or more authenticity disruptors are present do consumers begin to question the authenticity of the brand narrative. Disruption occurs when the focal brand is perceived to be nakedly copying a competitor, or when there is a gross mismatch between the brand narrative and reality. In the presence of one or both of these disruptors, consumers judge brands to be less authentic, report lower identification, lower assessments of brand quality and social responsibility, and are less likely to join the brand’s community.

Implications

Creating compelling brand stories is an important aspect of any marketing manager’s job; after all, these narratives help drive sales. Care must be taken when crafting narratives however, since consumers use these as the basis of their authenticity assessments, and brands deemed inauthentic are penalized.

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Tseng-Lung Huang and Feng Hsu Liu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which presence, media richness, and narrative experiences yield the highest experiential value in augmented-reality…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which presence, media richness, and narrative experiences yield the highest experiential value in augmented-reality interactive technology (ARIT).

Design/methodology/approach

A survey is performed to collect data. Valid questionnaires of 344 ARIT users are identified. The hypothesized associations are analyzed using structure equation modeling.

Findings

Empirical results indicate that narrative experience induces a higher experiential value than other simulative experiences, including presence and media richness.

Practical implications

Results of this study provide a valuable reference for managers attempting to design an ARIT process in order to optimize the experiential value in various online simulation environments.

Originality/value

This study adopts an integrated framework that incorporates narrative theory, media richness theory, and presence in the online ARIT. Exactly how narrative experience, media richness, and presence affect the formation of experiential value in the ARIT process is explored as well.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Russell K.H. Ching, Pingsheng Tong, Ja‐Shen Chen and Hung‐Yen Chen

Drawing on extant literature on narrative persuasion, online advertising, and transportation theory, this research aims to study Internet‐based online narrative

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on extant literature on narrative persuasion, online advertising, and transportation theory, this research aims to study Internet‐based online narrative advertising and investigate the effects of four pertinent advertising design elements, interactivity, entertainment, vividness, and self‐referencing, on consumer products and the moderating effects of advertisement involvement on these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using an online questionnaire that contained measures adapted from prior studies. Participants first selected a product that they would seriously consider purchasing and answered a set of questions prior to viewing a narrative online advertisement, which was followed by a different set of questions. Structural equation modeling was used to empirically test the authors’ proposed model.

Findings

Greater levels of interactivity, vividness, entertainment, and self‐referencing in narrative online advertisements led to more favorable attitudes toward a product. In particular, self‐referencing had a substantial effect on transportation in forming product attitudes. Advertisement Involvement moderates (i.e. enhances) the effect of self‐referencing on attitudes toward a product.

Practical implications

If properly designed, a narrative online advertisement can fully utilize Internet‐enabled features and can maximize their potential to produce a favorable consumer attitude toward a featured product.

Originality/value

This study advances narrative advertising research and provides empirical evidence to highlight the effects of the pertinent characteristics of Internet‐based advertising, interactivity and entertainment in the conversion process of transportation and consumer attitudes. Moreover, this study identifies and sheds light on important contingencies (i.e. advertisement involvement) of the focal relationships.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2008

Jordan L. LeBel and Nathalie Cooke

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of consumers' relationships with branded spokescharacters by drawing upon brand personality theory and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of consumers' relationships with branded spokescharacters by drawing upon brand personality theory and reader‐response theory, focusing specifically on food trade characters. We aim to show that the persuasive power of these characters resides not only in their appearance, but also in the complex narratives consumers project (sometimes unwittingly) onto the spokescharacter.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of a survey – blending quantitative and qualitative methodologies – designed to document consumer perceptions, affective responses and spontaneous associations to different characters (i.e. Aunt Jemima, Robin Hood, Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, Poppin' Fresh the Pillsbury's Doughboy, and M. Felix and Mr Norton, characters created by a Montreal‐based cookie company).

Findings

The results revealed that consumers associate spokescharacters with distinct personality profiles. Also, a connection was found between spokescharacters and narrative: a relationship where the characters become part of a larger narrative paradigm and more importantly, a relationship where the consumer is cast in a specific role vis‐à‐vis the spokescharacter.

Practical implications

These results should invite brand managers to stay current with the variety of associations that consumers form and how these associations influence the perception of their brand's personality. The results further underscore the need to understand the role into which consumers are cast vis‐à‐vis a branded character. Future research should examine cross cultural differences in the perception and narratives of branded characters, especially since many multinational companies use branded characters across cultural divides.

Originality/value

The paper shows how consumers play an active role in rendering a spokescharacter likeable, credible, and even memorable and documents the narratives that engage consumers and are both constructed collaboratively with them and propagated by them.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Luca Massimiliano Visconti

Purpose – Stemming from extant literature on consumer brand narratives and the rising quest for consumption authenticity, the chapter aims at merging these two streams of…

Abstract

Purpose – Stemming from extant literature on consumer brand narratives and the rising quest for consumption authenticity, the chapter aims at merging these two streams of knowledge. How can brand authenticity be defined and narrated? To what extent do companies and consumers interact? What are the consequences for branding?

Methodology – The chapter is case-based, and illustrates the branding strategy of l’Occitane en Provence, a company producing toiletries with a strong Mediterranean rooting. Data were collected through multisited ethnographic fieldwork in Paris and Manosque, Haute Provence. Depth and short interviews with customers and managers of l’Occitane were complemented by extensive observation and secondary data. The comprehensive dataset was analyzed consistently with interpretive research tenets.

Findings – Data document (i) five dimensions of brand authenticity contextualized to l’Occitane Mediterranean brand; (ii) the different branding strategies made possible to companies by the varied combination of these five dimensions; and (iii) the distinct profiles of brand consumers according to the specific authentic narrative each of them is more receptive to.

Practical implications – Implications for authentic brand narratives are drawn. I argue that when companies adopt a narrative approach to branding they can establish a stronger dialogue with customers and defend their competitive advantage more effectively. Actually, each brand narrative cannot be easily imitated by competitors since its imitation would turn out as a fake, unauthentic tale for the market.

Originality of the chapter – The chapter contributes to the fields of branding and authenticity, by extending the notion and understanding of consumption authenticity to brands.

Details

Research in Consumer Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-444-4

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Stefano Pace

The aim of the paper is to discuss a possible extension of narrative analysis to a new medium of expression of consumer behaviour, specifically YouTube.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to discuss a possible extension of narrative analysis to a new medium of expression of consumer behaviour, specifically YouTube.

Design/methodology/approach

Marketing and consumer behaviour studies often apply narrative analysis to understand consumption. The consumer is a source of introspective narratives that are studied by scholars. However, consumption has a narrative nature in itself and consumers are also storytellers. YouTube is a new context in which subjects tell stories to an audience through self‐made videos and re‐edited TV programs. After defining the pros and cons of different approaches to the study of YouTube, narrative analysis is presented as a possible means of understanding YouTube.

Findings

Some preliminary evidence is presented by discussing several YouTube videos. These indicate that YouTube content can be better understood as stories, rather than example of other approaches, such as visual analysis, media studies, videography, and others.

Research limitations/implications

From the analysis conducted, preliminary managerial implications can be drawn. It seems unlikely that normal TV broadcasters will be substituted by YouTube videos. For the most part, YouTube content draws its sense and shared meaning from the major TV shows and series. The discursive nature of YouTube is also an indication of how to deal with this new medium as a company or researcher.

Originality/value

The paper is an attempt to open up new applications of interpretive market research in the form of narrative analysis. It explores a new context that is gaining relevance in both the marketing literature and managerial practice.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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