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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Seth Ketron and Kelly Naletelich

Although vanity sizing has often been conceptualized as “smaller is better” in apparel sizing, this perspective is limited in that many products would be more negatively perceived…

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Abstract

Purpose

Although vanity sizing has often been conceptualized as “smaller is better” in apparel sizing, this perspective is limited in that many products would be more negatively perceived if viewed as smaller in size. In such scenarios, “larger is better” would be a more appropriate heuristic. Thus, vanity sizing should be redefined as a practice in achieving social desirability in size labeling. Namely, vanity sizing actually seeks to induce feelings of either smallness or largeness depending on the context. The purpose of this paper is to address this redefinition.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research provides initial empirical support of this redefinition with two studies that utilize a blended qualitative/quantitative approach and a hypothetical product scenario in which “larger is better” (bras).

Findings

Study 1 indicates that consumers seek to feel smaller and larger across different bodily areas. Further, study 2 found that compared to consumers of larger cup sizes, consumers of smaller cup sizes react more favorably to larger-than-typical cup sizes, forming more positive cognitive/affective reactions. Further, these cognitive/affective reactions influence purchase intentions, confirming findings of prior literature concerning attitudes and purchase intentions. Overall, the findings support the need to redefine vanity sizing.

Originality/value

The present conceptualization of vanity sizing is too narrow and limits understanding of the implications of vanity sizing across all sizing situations. Thus, this paper redefines vanity sizing and furnishes empirical evidence that such redefinition is warranted.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Charles Blankson, Seth Ketron and Joseph Darmoe

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study context. In…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate employment of positioning strategies in the retail bank sector of Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically using Ghana as the study context. In addition, it explores the applicability of western-based typology of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Six retail banks – three national and three foreign – are studied, each through an in-depth case study method: covert and participant observation techniques; and face-to-face interviews of chief executive officers, marketing managers, and bank branch managers provided data for the study.

Findings

The results show that the “service” positioning strategy is the most popular strategy employed by retail banks. “Value for money,” “attractiveness,” “brand name,” and “country of origin” positioning strategies are also dominant. “Top of the range” and “selectivity” strategies are minimally pursued by the sample of banks studied. The results reveal that both foreign and national retail banks employ multiple positioning strategies in the face of competition. However, foreign retail banks consistently employ a; large number of strategies relative to national retail banks. This paper supports the applicability of a western-derived set of positioning strategies in the Sub-Saharan African marketplace.

Research limitations/implications

This study closes a gap in the understanding of positioning, as well as filling the empirical gap in the application of positioning. In addition, it helps resolve a contextual gap of knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s retail banking sector.

Originality/value

This study responds to Porter (1996), Clancy and Trout (2002), and Knox (2004) for continued empirical research in positioning in service industries and specifically in Sub-Saharan African economies (Coffie, 2014, 2016; Coffie and Owusu-Frimpong, 2014). Moreover, this research adds value to the banking and marketing literatures through a qualitative case study method, which is an important yet overlooked research method (Yin, 2009).

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Seth Ketron, Rodney Runyan and M. Theodore Farris II

The current work reviews all retailing articles published in four prominent retailing journals – Journal of Retailing, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, International

Abstract

Purpose

The current work reviews all retailing articles published in four prominent retailing journals – Journal of Retailing, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, and International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research – in the 2009-2015 period, picking up where Runyan and Hyun (2009) left off. The purpose of this paper is to identify leading authors and institutions in retailing research based on overall impact.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis/literature review/descriptive research.

Findings

In total, 1,392 articles were published during this time period, and through a procedure of weights and adjustments for author count, journal impact, journal quality, and journal publishing opportunity, the findings reveal that research collaboration is highly prevalent, as evidenced by the high number of multi-authored papers and cross-university/international partnerships. Additionally, some authors and institutions remain influential, while others have emerged as highly influential in the last seven years. This shows the dynamic nature of the field and the need to remain active in quality publishing.

Research limitations/implications

Scholars must understand that several factors influence impact judgments, which cannot be assessed using raw counts alone. Journal quality, impact, and publishing opportunity as well as author counts are important elements to consider.

Originality/value

These reviews are vital to the field in that they provide status updates on scholarship, so these reviews should be done periodically. Additionally, the findings in this paper provide a more holistic understanding of research impact and permit better assessment for scholars and administrators.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2024

Qiuli Su, Aidin Namin and Seth Ketron

This paper aims to investigate textual characteristics of customer reviews that motivate companies to respond (sentiment negativity and sentiment deviation) and how aspects of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate textual characteristics of customer reviews that motivate companies to respond (sentiment negativity and sentiment deviation) and how aspects of these company responses (response intensity, length and tailoring) affect subsequent customer review quality (comprehensiveness and readability) over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Leveraging a large data set from a leading app website (Shopify), the authors combine text mining, natural language processing (NLP) and big data analysis to examine the antecedents and outcomes of online company responses to reviews.

Findings

This study finds that companies are more likely to respond to reviews with more negative sentiment and higher sentiment deviation scores. Furthermore, while longer company responses improve review comprehensiveness over time, they do not have a significant influence on review readability; meanwhile, more tailored company responses improve readability but not comprehensiveness over time. In addition, the intensity (volume) of company responses does not affect subsequent review quality in either comprehensiveness or readability.

Originality/value

This paper expands on the understanding of online company responses within the digital marketplace – specifically, apps – and provides a new and broader perspective on the motivations and effects of online company responses to customer reviews. The study also extends beyond the short-term focus of prior works and adds to literature on long-term effects of online company responses to subsequent reviews. The findings provide valuable insights for companies (especially those with apps) to enhance their online communication strategies and customer engagement.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2022

Aidin Namin and Seth Ketron

While prior research has investigated factors that predict consumers’ information search behaviors as they relate to automobiles, such studies were conducted prior to the COVID-19…

Abstract

Purpose

While prior research has investigated factors that predict consumers’ information search behaviors as they relate to automobiles, such studies were conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that the pandemic has necessitated lockdowns, social distancing, business closures and other disruptions to normal shopping activities, consumer information search behaviors have also been substantially altered as the psychological distance between consumers and marketers has increased. Thus, this study aims to examine these changes and identify patterns of search behavior for a major durable product: automobiles.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data from before and during the pandemic, the study implements Finite Mixture Modeling to unveil latent segments of U.S. consumers’ search behaviors and choices for Japanese automobiles. This analytic method enables capturing consumer unobserved heterogeneity through mixing probabilities guided by individual characteristics. These segments are determined based on consumers’ information search for online and offline marketer-controlled and nonmarketer-controlled sources.

Findings

The study identifies that two segments of consumers emerge both prior to the pandemic and during the pandemic. These empirically validated findings indicate that the pandemic has led to shifts in consumers’ information search behaviors for Japanese automobiles by relying more on nonmarketer-controlled sources of information.

Originality/value

This work is among the first comprehensive empirical analyses of consumer search for a major durable product by comparing pre- and during pandemic patterns. Using analytics and econometrics, the first-hand analysis findings offer meaningful implications for marketers and product managers in the automotive industry.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Seth Ketron and Kelly Naletelich

Service delays are of significant concern to both consumers and companies – delays cost both groups billions of dollars and lead to consumer frustration and switching activity…

Abstract

Purpose

Service delays are of significant concern to both consumers and companies – delays cost both groups billions of dollars and lead to consumer frustration and switching activity. Therefore, determining means of overcoming negative consumer reactions to delays is important, and the authors propose that anthropomorphic facial expressions could be one of those means. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to test the effects of anthropomorphic cues (namely, happy and sad faces) on consumer responses to service delays, depending on whether service providers are at fault for those delays.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies test the proposed effects.

Findings

Happy faces alongside messages about delays appear to provide no significant benefit to repatronage intentions compared to a non-anthropomorphic (control) condition, whether the service provider is or is not to blame. Meanwhile, sad faces are harmful when the provider is not to blame but can somewhat bolster repatronage intentions when the provider is at fault. Further, perceived sincerity of the facial expression and patience with the provider mediate these effects.

Research limitations/implications

The findings offer important insights into how anthropomorphic cues, including emojis, can influence consumer responses to service delays. The work, thus, offers clarity around instances in which anthropomorphism might lead to negative consumer responses.

Practical implications

Managers can use the findings to increase patience and mitigate potentially negative consumer responses when service delays occur.

Originality/value

This work adds clarity to the literature on anthropomorphism by showing how blame attributions for service delays can lead to different consumer responses to anthropomorphic cues. The findings also show how anthropomorphism can help to mitigate negative consumer responses to service delays.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Seth Ketron and Kelly Naletelich

Although the functional benefits of e-books have been discussed in the emerging literature on the e-reader platform, the hedonic/emotional aspects of e-book usage have not been…

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Abstract

Purpose

Although the functional benefits of e-books have been discussed in the emerging literature on the e-reader platform, the hedonic/emotional aspects of e-book usage have not been explored. This study aims to explore the impact that e-readers have on consumers’ connections with books. Relying on self-concept theory and possessions as the extended self, the authors address the following two questions: What are the hedonic differences between e-books and printed books, and, if the functional benefits of e-books are so compelling, then why do some people still use printed books?

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers pursue a qualitative design through the use of semi-structured interviews, with a combination of base questions and follow-up questions tailored to the individual respondent.

Findings

The results reveal six primary themes: convenience, change, community, collection, connection and children. Within each, functional benefits are identified, confirming prior literature on these benefits, and hedonic/emotional themes emerge, revealing that e-readers are capable of changing consumers’ connections with books. Namely, while e-books offer functional benefits over printed books, consumers feel less connected to books read using an e-reader platform and prefer to purchase the printed versions of books that hold special meanings for them. These findings align with self-concept theory and indicate that printed books are an extension of the self, one that cannot be completely replaced by e-books.

Originality/value

This research adds to the emerging literature on e-books by demonstrating that e-readers have emotional implications for consumers as components of the self-concept/extended self. Prior literature has focused solely on the functional benefits associated with e-books but has not directly addressed the role of books in the self-concept.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Rambod Dargahi, Aidin Namin and Seth Ketron

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how consumers choose among three different options offered by a firm in a monopolistic setting, namely, to buy a standard product with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how consumers choose among three different options offered by a firm in a monopolistic setting, namely, to buy a standard product with a non-customizable design, to ask the firm to customize a product using the consumer’s ideal design or to do the entire design task by themselves. The authors also investigate how social preference intensity and the possibility of reselling a product influence a consumer’s decision.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop an analytical (game theoretical) consumer choice framework and incorporate a psychological factor into the model. The authors also empirically validate the analytical findings using simulations.

Findings

The authors find that as social preference intensity increases, the number of co-producers can either decrease or increase. The authors offer a closed-form solution and interval graphs showing that when the setup price is large (small), the proportion of the market that chooses to do-it-yourself (DIY) is large (small) and an increase in social preference intensity leads to a decrease (increase) in co-production.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to incorporate a social factor into an economic model in a consumer behavior setting. It is also the first paper to explain how customers’ preferences among possible options, such as DIY (without the firm’s help), co-production (with the firm’s help) and a standard product might change while considering other people’s preferences, as well as given associated costs.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Kirsten Cowan and Seth Ketron

Virtual reality (VR) is of increasing interest to marketers because it can be used to explore and proactively shape long-term futures, co-create value with consumers, and foster…

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Abstract

Purpose

Virtual reality (VR) is of increasing interest to marketers because it can be used to explore and proactively shape long-term futures, co-create value with consumers, and foster consumer-brand engagement. Yet, to date, the field lacks a cohesive framework for approaching VR research; thus, the objective of this systematic literature review is to provide such a framework and highlight research opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

First, after conducting a systematic literature review, we highlight VR themes instrumental to flow and propose a typology for VR research using realism-fantasy and immersion as dimensions. Next, we review the current state of empirical research for each quadrant. Finally, we synthesize research within each quadrant, specifying criteria and considerations for conducting research. In doing so, we propose an agenda for marketing research, centered on methodological, future studies, and consumer-related contributions.

Findings

VR themes instrumental to flow include the avatar, application quality, and interactivity. We find, contrary to some conceptualizations of VR, that all applications are capable of producing flow. Conflicting research and gaps are highlighted in the findings section and summarized in Table III. Additionally, while prior research seems to draw from findings of other VR applications in advancing knowledge in general, the results of the literature review suggest that VR applications should be treated uniquely. Finally, we propose highly immersive VR applications as more conducive to future studies research.

Research limitations/implications

Scholars can utilize the findings to prioritize future research studies in marketing. By following the typology and research opportunities, scholars can advance marketing theory and enhance the external validity of research studies through VR applications.

Practical implications

Managers can utilize the findings to ascertain consumers and societies‘ responses to various marketing stimuli, with implications for product development, branding, retail/service experiences, adoption of new technologies, tourism, and many other domains. VR applications offer managers more ways of testing concepts and processes in realistic fashion without the costs and risks associated with more traditional methods.

Originality/value

The objective of this paper is to examine varying opportunities for VR research given flow and fantasy potential and to prioritize VR research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 19 March 2024

Jiayuan Zhao, Hong Huo, Sheng Wei, Chunjia Han, Mu Yang, Brij B. Gupta and Varsha Arya

The study employs two independent experimental studies to collect data. It focuses on the matching effect between advertising appeals and product types. The Elaboration Likelihood…

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Abstract

Purpose

The study employs two independent experimental studies to collect data. It focuses on the matching effect between advertising appeals and product types. The Elaboration Likelihood Model serves as the theoretical framework for understanding the cognitive processing involved in consumers' responses to these advertising appeals and product combinations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper aims to investigate the impact of advertising appeals on consumers' intentions to purchase organic food. We explored the interaction between advertising appeals (egoistic vs altruistic) and product types (virtue vs vice) and purchase intention. The goal is to provide insights that can enhance the advertising effectiveness of organic food manufacturers and retailers.

Findings

The analysis reveals significant effects on consumers' purchase intentions based on the matching of advertising appeals with product types. Specifically, when egoistic appeals align with virtuous products, there is an improvement in consumers' purchase intentions. When altruistic appeals match vice products, a positive impact on purchase intention is observed. The results suggest that the matching of advertising appeals with product types enhances processing fluency, contributing to increased purchase intention.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the field by providing nuanced insights into the interplay between advertising appeals and product types within the context of organic food. The findings highlight the importance of considering the synergy between egoistic appeals and virtuous products, as well as altruistic appeals and vice products. This understanding can be strategically employed by organic food manufacturers and retailers to optimize their advertising strategies, thereby improving their overall effectiveness in influencing consumers' purchase intentions.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 126 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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