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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2022

Sangchul Park, Shinhyoung Lee and Hyun-Woo Lee

This study aims to examine how and when trainers' muscle mass impacts service purchase of personal fitness training, drawing upon signaling theory. Specifically, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how and when trainers' muscle mass impacts service purchase of personal fitness training, drawing upon signaling theory. Specifically, the authors investigated (1) the mediating role of perceived competence in the relationship between trainers' muscle mass (highly vs moderately muscular) and customers' service registration intention and (2) the moderating role of customer expertise in this mediating mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conceptualized trainers' muscle mass, developed its experimental stimuli and validated them through the two pretests (total n = 387). Using the validated stimuli, the authors conducted the two experiments (total n = 802). In both experiments, the authors recruited participants via MTurk using the convenience sampling method and employed a single-factor between-subject design based on random assignment.

Findings

Findings supported the authors’ proporsed model. Consumers perceived highly (vs moderately) muscular trainers as more competent, which in turn engendered greater service registration intention. This effect emerged for expert consumers but not for novice consumers.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first attempts to empirically test the influence of trainers' muscle mass on consumer acquisition in the context of personal fitness training. It also expands the sport marketing literature to the consumer psychology and behavior fields addressing the characteristics of sport-service providers. The findings also provide fitness organizations with managerial insights into how to effectively leverage trainers' physical appearance as a marketing tool.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2023

Sangchul Park and Hyun-Woo Lee

Fitness service companies often promote the companies' personal training service by attributing trainers' competent characteristics, qualifications or/and service…

Abstract

Purpose

Fitness service companies often promote the companies' personal training service by attributing trainers' competent characteristics, qualifications or/and service provision to their effort or talent. This promotion is called performance attribution promotion. Utilizing attribution theory and the theory's adjacent studies, this study investigated whether and why performance attribution promotion affects consumers' service purchase of personal fitness training.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed the experimental stimuli of performance attribution promotion and validated those through a pretest (N = 200). Using the validated stimuli, the authors conducted an experiment with employing a single factor between-subject design (performance attribution promotion: effort vs talent) based on random assignment (N = 200).

Findings

The analysis results revealed that attributing trainers' competent characteristics, qualifications or/and service provision to effort (vs talent) leads to a higher level of service registration intention. Moreover, this effect was mediated by the perceived teaching expertise but not by the perceived teaching trustworthiness.

Originality/value

These findings enrich the literature by illuminating a new mechanism and consequence of performance attribution promotion. The authors' study also extends the marketing studies related to expertise perception by presenting the attribution of visible features as one of the characteristics determining expertise perception. Finally, the authors' findings also have implications for fitness service companies and other stakeholders that seek to effectively leverage trainers' competent outcomes for consumer acquisition.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2022

Sangchul Park, Hyun-Woo Lee and Calvin Nite

Fitness service organizations often promote the personal training service by attributing competent features, qualifications, or/and service provision of fitness service…

Abstract

Purpose

Fitness service organizations often promote the personal training service by attributing competent features, qualifications, or/and service provision of fitness service providers to efforts or talents. This study aims to investigate whether and when the promotional attribution of fitness service providers' competent features, qualifications, or/and service provision contributes to customers' compliance with service instructions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed the experimental stimuli of performance attribution promotion (i.e. effort attribution and talent attribution) and validated them via a pretest (N = 400). Utilizing the validated stimuli, the authors conducted an experiment (N = 400) employing a single-factor (performance attribution promotion: effort vs talent) between-subject design. The authors performed partial least squares structural modeling (PLS-SEM) to test our hypotheses.

Findings

The results revealed the interaction effect of performance attribution promotion and customers' implicit mindset on customer participation expectation. Specifically, when customers were high in implicit mindset (i.e. incremental-minded), attributing competent features, qualifications, or/and service provision of fitness service providers to effort (vs talent) increased customer participation expectation. Yet, when customers were low in implicit mindset (i.e. entity-minded), such an effect did not occur. Further, the authors identified customers' intention to comply with service instructions as a downstream consequence of the aforementioned interaction effect.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is twofold. It enriches the performance attribution literature by finding its new consequences and boundary condition. Moreover, the findings aid fitness service practitioners in developing strategies for eliciting customers' compliance with service instruction through performance attribution promotion.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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