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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Tiffany S. Legendre, Melissa Baker, Rodney Warnick and Albert Assaf

Despite the well-established branding literature, how a brand is connected to individual, market and societal/ideological levels are largely unknown. Grounded in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the well-established branding literature, how a brand is connected to individual, market and societal/ideological levels are largely unknown. Grounded in the belief in a just world (BJW) theory, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of brand positioning status (BPS) on the support of certain brands (financially and non-financially) and examine the moderating roles of brand ideology and protestant work ethic (PWE).

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, a 2 (BPS: topdog vs underdog) × 2 (brand ideology: universalism vs power) between-subjects experimental design is conducted on overall brand support, purchase intention and word-of-mouth. To build upon the findings, Study 2 explores the three-way interaction effects on the same dependent variables by using a 2 (BPS: topdog vs underdog) × 2 (ideology: universalism vs power) × 2 (PWE: high vs low) quasi-experimental between-subjects design study.

Findings

The results of these studies reveal that customers have a strong intention to support the brands with universalism values, regardless of BPS, as power imbalance in the marketplace is not as salient. When a brand conveys the power ideology, the BPS greatly matters in earning customers’ support. This tendency, however, is varied among customers based on their level of PWE. This is because customers’ justification and evaluation on capitalism differs and their views toward market competitions between topdogs and underdogs are influenced by the personal worldviews.

Originality/value

The findings build upon belief in a just world theory and branding literature and discuss the importance of considering the BPS and the ideology a brand conveys in the marketplace, as the meanings and messages could be perceived differently based on what kind of work ethic one possesses and supports.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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: 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

Content available
146

Abstract

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2019

Danny Tengti Kao

While envy has been widely explored in psychology literature, theoretical understanding of the effects of envy on consumers’ emotional responses to brands is promising but…

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Abstract

Purpose

While envy has been widely explored in psychology literature, theoretical understanding of the effects of envy on consumers’ emotional responses to brands is promising but under explored. Therefore, this study aims to apply cases of envy and psychological distance to consumers to examine whether the style of brand storytelling can moderate brand preference.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies were conducted to test the hypotheses. Experiment 1 investigated the effect of envy on consumer evaluations of an advocated brand, through viewing a series of advertisements that varied in brand storytelling styles. A total of 104 working students were randomly assigned to a 2 (brand storytelling: underdog vs top dog) single factorial design. Experiment 2 investigates the effect of envy on consumer evaluations of the advocated brand through viewing advertisements that varied in psychological distance. A total of 108 working students were randomly assigned to a 2 (psychological distance: proximal vs distant) single factorial design. Experiment 3 investigated the effect of envy on evaluations of the brand through viewing advertisements that varied in brand storytelling style and psychological distance. A total of 208 working students were randomly assigned to a 2 (underdog vs top dog) × 2 (proximal vs distant psychological distance) between-subject factorial design.

Findings

Results demonstrate that for consumers experiencing benign and malicious envy, advertisements characterized by brand storytelling (underdog vs top dog) and psychological distance (proximal vs distant) will elicit differential brand preferences.

Originality/value

This research takes up the call to address the limited attention given to envy in the context of brand advertising. Specifically, this research aims to explore how consumer envy influences brand preference and the role of moderating effects such as brand storytelling and psychological distance in this context.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Miyuri Shirai

When communicating with consumers, firms frequently highlight their underdog status to evoke a favorable attitude. Previous research has confirmed consumer preference for…

Abstract

Purpose

When communicating with consumers, firms frequently highlight their underdog status to evoke a favorable attitude. Previous research has confirmed consumer preference for underdogs over top dogs in various domains. However, very little research has been conducted on the business types and decision contexts in which underdog effects produce the most impact. This paper aims to investigate some of the unexplored boundary conditions of underdog effects and addresses two issues: consumption domain and retail crowding.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments with a 2 (biography: underdog or top dog) × 2 (consumption domain: hedonic or utilitarian) × 2 (retail crowding: adequately crowded or uncrowded) factorial between-subjects design were conducted to test hypotheses. The two experiments differ in the consumption domains and the approaches used to depict crowding conditions. Furthermore, the first experiment targeted college students and the second experiment targeted online consumer panels across various age groups.

Findings

Underdog effects were more easily evoked when the consumption domain was more hedonic than utilitarian. In addition, retail crowding was an informational cue for judging acceptance of underdog businesses and enhanced the evaluation when the retail environment was adequately crowded rather than uncrowded. This role of crowding was also evident for top-dog businesses when consumers perceived high risk in the businesses.

Originality/value

This is the first study to distinguish between hedonic and utilitarian consumption domains with underdog effects and to demonstrate a positive effect of crowding as an informational cue, indicating acceptance by other consumers.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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…

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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: 1 May 1989

John Struthers and Alistair Young

In seeking to extend rational choice theory from“market” to “political” behaviour, economistshave encountered a paradox: namely, that the act of voting itselfappears to be…

Abstract

In seeking to extend rational choice theory from “market” to “political” behaviour, economists have encountered a paradox: namely, that the act of voting itself appears to be inconsistent with the assumption of rationality. This is true not only when self‐interest is assumed, but also when altruistic behaviour (at least in its non‐Kantian form) is allowed for. This article surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of the decision to participate in voting, and concludes that this decision is responsive to changes in the expected benefits and costs of voting; even though the expected costs of voting must normally outweigh the expected benefits. Interpretations of this behaviour include the possibility that voters act rationally, but are misinformed about the likely effectiveness of their votes; alternatively, the electorate may include more Kantians than economists have generally been willing to admit.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1973

Sunderland's FA cup victory was more than a soccer triumph. It represented a badly‐needed morale booster for local commerce and industry in a town which—like its second…

Abstract

Sunderland's FA cup victory was more than a soccer triumph. It represented a badly‐needed morale booster for local commerce and industry in a town which—like its second division football team—felt it was being treated like an underdog. Shipyard workers, like those on the right, exemplify a local saying: ‘If the football team does well, then the firms do well.’ Report and pictures by John Lawless.

Details

Industrial Management, vol. 73 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-6929

Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Warren J. Samuels

 : Immigration in the colonial period was almost exclusively English plus geographically scattered others. Little immigration until after the War of…

Abstract

 : Immigration in the colonial period was almost exclusively English plus geographically scattered others. Little immigration until after the War of 1812, still mainly English speaking. After 1840, a heavy influx of German (1850–1880), Irish, later Scandinavian immigrants in large numbers, especially after, but also during, the Civil War, 1860–1865. The heaviest immigration was from 1890 through 1910 up to World War I: Polish, Italian, Slavic, Russian and Romanian Jews, generally East European. Most immigrants were young people. Since World War I immigration has been light, due in part to restrictive policies after 1920, especially after 1927. Only slight immigration during the 1930s but more emigration, resulting in net emigration. Since World War II, considerable immigration but nothing like the period prior to World War I; relatively geographical distributed: refugees, nationals, displaced persons, etc., including the families of servicemen who married abroad.

Details

Wisconsin "Government and Business" and the History of Heterodox Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-090-6

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