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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Lee Phillip McGinnis, Tao Gao, Sunkyu Jun and James Gentry

The understanding of the motives for consumers’ support of business underdogs is generally limited. The purpose of this paper is to help address this important research…

Abstract

Purpose

The understanding of the motives for consumers’ support of business underdogs is generally limited. The purpose of this paper is to help address this important research topic by conceptualizing underdog affection as a theoretical construct capturing the emotional attachment held by some consumers toward underdog business entities and advances two perspectives (self- and other-oriented) to unravel its motivational underpinnings.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the conceptual model, a survey study was conducted involving 365 respondents drawn from an electronic alumni association list from a medium-sized Midwestern university in the USA. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analyses were used to validate the scales, and the structural equations modeling method was used to test the hypothesized effects.

Findings

The data support most of the hypotheses (eight out of nine). Under the self-oriented perspective, commerce underdog affection is positively influenced by underdog orientation, need for uniqueness, nostalgia proneness, and hope, and is negatively impacted by their materialism level. Only hope did not impact consumer underdog affection. Under the other-oriented perspective, balance maintenance, top dog antipathy, and empathic concern positively influence underdog affection. The other-oriented factors, especially top dog antipathy and balance maintenance, show stronger effects on commerce underdog affection than self-oriented factors.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was geographically restrictive in the sense that it measured only one group of respondents in the USA. The conceptual model is limited in terms of its coverage of the consequences of underdog affection. While discriminant validity is established in the scale development phase of the study, relatively close relationships do exist among some of these theoretical constructs.

Practical implications

Given the significant evidence linking consumers’ underdog affection to underdog support in commerce, small locally owned businesses could use underdog positioning advertising to differentiate themselves against national retailers. Due to their tendency to display higher underdog affection in commerce, people with higher levels of balance maintenance, top dog antipathy, underdog orientation, emphatic concern, and nostalgia proneness, and lower levels of materialism can be segmented for marketing purposes.

Social implications

This research indicates that there are ways in which small business entities and non-profits alike can operate in a business setting that is increasingly more competitive and challenging for underdog entities.

Originality/value

This study integrates the various underdog studies across contexts to examine motives to underdog affection, a construct not yet operationalized in business studies. In addition, hypotheses linking eight specific antecedents to commerce underdog affection, via two theoretical perspectives, are empirically examined to assess relative as well as absolute effects.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Elena Delgado-Ballester

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the building of consumer–brand identification through the use of two themes (underdog and topdog) in the design of brand…

1550

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the building of consumer–brand identification through the use of two themes (underdog and topdog) in the design of brand storytelling. It proposes that the underdog theme is superior because it is more effective in immersing readers in the story and generates higher emotional responses. The moderating effect of consumers’ implicit mindsets is also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental study with a single-factorial design is conducted with 301 consumers assigned at random to one of two brand storytelling conditions: underdog theme or topdog theme.

Findings

The results show a full mediating effect of the underdog (vs topdog) theme on brand identification through reader immersion and empathic feelings.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a fictitious brand and a specific product category may limit the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

Placing the brand in a story with an underdog plot is more effective in catching consumers’ attention than using a topdog brand story. In particular, using an underdog theme is a good approach for targeting consumers who have a growth mindset.

Originality/value

This study explains the persuasiveness of brand storytelling in terms of the characteristics of the storytelling itself rather than the individual characteristics of consumers (e.g. their own underdog dispositions). The results also suggest that the implicit mindset of the individual plays a role.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Bangwool Han and Minho Kim

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating roles of equality and scarcity on the impact of underdog brand positioning on consumer purchase intentions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating roles of equality and scarcity on the impact of underdog brand positioning on consumer purchase intentions. Beyond testing the relationship between underdog brand positioning and purchase intentions (Study 1), the study examines how the equality perception affects consumer choices on underdog brands (Study 2) and how the reasons for product scarcity influence purchase intentions of consumers with prosocial orientations (Study 3).

Design/methodology/approach

A research model is developed, depicting the impact of underdog brand positioning on purchase intentions via social value orientations and scarcity types. The conceptual model is validated using moderation process modeling and data for which are collected through sets of structured questionnaires analyzed through PROCESS modeling in SPSS.

Findings

The findings support that compared with top dog brand positioning, underdog brand positioning has a greater impact on consumers’ purchase intentions, and consumers with prosocial orientations generate greater purchase intentions than consumers with proself orientations. In addition, the demand-caused product scarcity also moderates the relationship between underdog brand biography and purchase intentions.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the ongoing research on brand positioning by examining the associations between equality perception and purchase intentions in the context of underdog brand biography. The study also shows the value of demand-caused scarcity as a moderator of the underdog brand–purchase intention linkage.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 April 2019

Danny Tengti Kao and Pei-Hsun Wu

The competition among banks in Taiwan is fierce. The financial services offered by banks are highly similar and banks attempt to devise a variety of marketing campaigns to…

Abstract

Purpose

The competition among banks in Taiwan is fierce. The financial services offered by banks are highly similar and banks attempt to devise a variety of marketing campaigns to gain brand preferences of bank clients. However, little research regarding bank marketing has applied the segmentation strategy to precisely target bank clients. The purpose of this paper is to explore the moderating roles of cognitive load and brand story style in the impact of bank clients’ affective orientation on brand preference of bank clients.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 216 participants who have bank accounts in Taiwan were randomly assigned to a 2 (brand story style: underdog vs top dog) × 2 (cognitive load: low vs high) factorial design. An ANOVA was conducted to examine the interaction effects of affective orientation, cognitive load and brand story style on the brand preference of bank clients. Affective orientation of participants was measured by Affective Orientation Scale.

Findings

Results demonstrate that for bank clients with low and high affective orientation, advertisements characterized by cognitive load (low vs high) and brand story style (underdog vs top dog) will elicit differential brand preferences of bank clients.

Originality/value

This is the first research to examine the moderating effects of bank clients’ affective orientation, cognitive load and brand story style on brand preferences of bank clients. Specifically, this research takes up the call to apply bank clients’ personality traits to examine the impact of bank marketing on brand preferences of banks.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Allard C.R. Van Riel, Jie J. Zhang, Lee Phillip McGinnis, Mohammad G. Nejad, Milos Bujisic and Paul A. Phillips

While innovative service systems may create substantial value for certain stakeholders, they often destroy value for others. This value paradox frequently leads to…

1137

Abstract

Purpose

While innovative service systems may create substantial value for certain stakeholders, they often destroy value for others. This value paradox frequently leads to unsustainable service systems. The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of multiple theories to pinpoint and explain these value paradoxes, build a framework allowing potentially more sustainable value configuration of service systems and develop an agenda for future research. The framework is illustrated with examples from the hospitality industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on prevalent theories and approaches, including service-dominant logic, business modeling, transaction cost economics, stakeholder theory, configuration theory and set theory, to develop a value configuration framework.

Findings

In a service system, the configuration of resources and relationships between these resources (i.e. the set of value propositions for various stakeholders of the system) determines which stakeholders will gain and which will lose and to what extent. For that reason, insight into the range of possible service configurations – or business models – will help decision makers consider the effects on various stakeholders, and, where possible, set their priorities right and make their businesses more sustainable. The research produces a rich research agenda.

Research limitations/implications

Examples from hospitality allow an in-depth examination of a range of dynamic configurational and technological innovations, but some idiosyncratic characteristics of the context may impede the wider applicability of the conceptual framework. Future research could complement this work by studying other service sectors.

Practical implications

The paper aims to provide decision makers in the service industry with a conceptual tool to explore, diagnose and, if needed, adjust the value configuration of their service operations. In practice, this tool may help explicate the service system configuration, thus helping managers determine their organizations’ desired positioning in terms of value creation and destruction, and to choose strategic directions by adapting configurations.

Social implications

Legislation and regulations are being adapted to various new service configurations. This paper attempts to – at least conceptually – distinguish different service configurations, allowing policy makers to identify the value trade-offs between stakeholders, including society at large.

Originality/value

Previous research focused primarily on value creation by innovative services and business models. Value creation for one stakeholder, however, could lead to value destruction for another. Taking this paradox into consideration may result in more open service ecosystems that explicitly consider sustainability and value implications in multiple dimensions and for a broader group of stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
146

Abstract

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2005

Andy Denis

Adam Smith is revered as the father of modern economics. Analysis of his writings, however, reveals a profoundly medieval outlook. Smith is preoccupied with the need to…

Abstract

Adam Smith is revered as the father of modern economics. Analysis of his writings, however, reveals a profoundly medieval outlook. Smith is preoccupied with the need to preserve order in society. His scientific methodology emphasises reconciliation with the world we live in rather than investigation of it. He invokes a version of natural law in which the universe is a harmonious machine administered by a providential deity. Nobody is uncared for and, in real happiness, we are all substantially equal. No action is without its appropriate reward – in this life or the next. The social desirability of individual self-seeking activity is ensured by the “invisible hand,” that is, the hand of a god who has moulded us so to behave, that the quantity of happiness in the world is always maximised.

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-316-7

Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2004

Nancy K. Freeman and Mac H. Brown

Rough and tumble (R&T) play is a well-researched form of play fighting that contributes to children’s academic and social success. Some continue to believe it inevitably…

Abstract

Rough and tumble (R&T) play is a well-researched form of play fighting that contributes to children’s academic and social success. Some continue to believe it inevitably leads to bullying and aggression, but this chapter makes that case that R&T should be reconceptualized and supported by creating settings that welcome and encourage consenting players’ participation. R&T can be supported by creating an emotionally safe environment where children are empowered to choose whether or not to join in, by the provision of wide-open spaces, adequate time, and adults who will provide a physical and emotional safety net at arm’s length.

Details

Social Contexts of Early Education, and Reconceptualizing Play (II)
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-146-0

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 January 2016

Abstract

Details

Storytelling-Case Archetype Decoding and Assignment Manual (SCADAM)
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-216-0

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