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Article

Maria Sääksjärvi, Katarina Hellén and George Balabanis

The purpose of this paper is to examine women’s reactions to celebrity endorsers holding positive and negative public images and the consequences for purchase intentions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine women’s reactions to celebrity endorsers holding positive and negative public images and the consequences for purchase intentions of the endorsed product.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the social comparison literature and applies the theory of upward and downward comparisons to the celebrity endorsement context.

Findings

Study 1 shows that exposure to celebrities holding a positive public image decrease consumers’ temporal self-esteem, while celebrities holding a negative public image increase temporal self-esteem. Study 2 suggests that this change in self-esteem transfers to the product depending upon the type of social comparison focus (similarity vs dissimilarity) which people have. Study 3 shows that for consumers low in true self-esteem, i.e. self-esteem based upon a stable foundation, celebrities holding a positive public image decrease purchase intentions. For consumers high in true self-esteem, there was no difference between exposure to celebrities holding a positive and a negative public image for purchase intentions. Study 4 focused on replicating the results found in Studies 1-3 in the context of an achievement celebrity (as opposed to a regular celebrity). The findings in Study 4 provide further support for the results of Studies 1 and 3, and identify expert celebrities as a boundary condition for the effects found in Study 2.

Practical implications

The results provide evidence suggesting that celebrities holding a negative public image can be used as celebrity endorsers in product categories in which it can be considered helpful to protect women’s self-esteem, such as beauty products or self-expressive products.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature on celebrity endorsement by adding a boundary condition for the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement. According to the results, choosing a positive celebrity can, for some groups, have negative effects on purchase intensions and that a negative celebrity might be the safer choice.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article

Maria Sääksjärvi and Katarina Hellén

Development of new products is important for firm success; however, firms often struggle to identify the best ideas from multiple options. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Development of new products is important for firm success; however, firms often struggle to identify the best ideas from multiple options. The purpose of this paper is to study how innovators and early adopters can be used for identifying the best ideas, i.e. the ideas that appeal to mass-market customers.

Design/methodology/approach

Two empirical studies were conducted. Study 1 concerned the development of a symbolic innovation, whereas Study 2 focused on a functional innovation. Each study consisted of two parts: idea generation and idea evaluation. In Study 1 there were 124 idea generators and 248 idea evaluators. In Study 2 there were 104 idea generators and 108 evaluators.

Findings

Both studies demonstrate that innovators and early adopters are able to predict the ideas that appeal to mass-market customers. Yet, it was also shown that this prediction depends on the nature of the idea. In the case of ideas for products that are predominantly symbolic in nature (Study 1), innovators and early adopters predict the buying intentions of mass-market consumers via the perceived novelty of the idea. In turn, for ideas that are predominantly functional in nature, innovators and early adopters predict the buying intentions of mass-market consumers directly via buying intentions.

Originality/value

These findings show that innovators and early adopters can be used for selecting the best ideas from a plethora of available options. This is the first time that innovators and early adopters have been empirically demonstrated to hold such a role.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article

Katarina Hellén and Johanna Gummerus

Service scholars have questioned the usefulness of the concept of tangibility/intangibility as a characteristic of services for two reasons: first, it is ambiguous and…

Abstract

Purpose

Service scholars have questioned the usefulness of the concept of tangibility/intangibility as a characteristic of services for two reasons: first, it is ambiguous and does not differentiate between services and goods; and second, because all offerings, despite their characteristics, render service to customers. Consequently, scholars have suggested discarding the concept altogether. The purpose of this paper is to subject the concept to critical evaluation and argue that tangibility/intangibility is useful, because it influences consumers' experiences with offerings. In this paper, the authors argue that it is necessary to re‐conceptualise tangibility/intangibility to overcome the previous critique.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw upon empirical research from the service marketing and psychology literature in order to advance knowledge on the nature of tangibility/intangibility and its influence on the formation of consumer experiences.

Findings

It is proposed that tangibility/intangibility should be investigated from a consumer perspective, rather than an inherent characteristic in offerings. Also, it is shown that the concept is relevant for understanding consumer experience formation at different stages of the purchase process.

Originality/value

The paper provides propositions on the conceptualization of tangibility/intangibility and its relationship with pre‐, ongoing use and post‐purchase consumer experiences. The authors call for caution in dismissing tangibility/intangibility as a concept in the service marketing literature.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

Katarina Hellén and Maria Sääksjärvi

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the formation of service perceptions in services that are stressful and unpleasant for customers, e.g. healthcare services. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the formation of service perceptions in services that are stressful and unpleasant for customers, e.g. healthcare services. The authors set out to show that customers' happiness, here conceptualized as a stable perception of happiness one has towards one's life, predicts how customers manage adverse services.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a survey in a healthcare setting and analyzed the data with partial least square modeling.

Findings

The results show that happiness is indirectly linked, through mood, to perceived service quality, trust and service outcome. Thus, the results suggest that happy consumers are less vulnerable to distress in adverse services.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that, to enable service providers to offer adequate support in adverse service situations, service management would benefit from taking into account different customers' different levels of happiness. It is recommended that providers of adverse services segment their customer base according to the level of happiness and allocate resources to foster trust and expectations to less happy customers that would benefit from more support.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the service literature by providing an understanding of how service perceptions are formed in adverse service situations. As happiness is relatively stable across time and situations, this study also contributes to understanding the role of personality traits on evaluation.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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