Innovations in Marketing and New Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour

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Friday, June 17, 2016
10:00am – 12:00pm Presentation & QA
Segal Graduate School
500 Granville Street, Vancouver
Room 2300 (2nd floor)
Please reserve a spot by registering here.
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Somewhere Out There: The Power of Brands to Signify Safety and Represent Home during Risk-Filled Separations 

While past research has focused on the many complexities surrounding consumers’ relationships with objects and brands, less focus has been placed on how consumers use brands within their real life interpersonal relationships, or specifically how brands connect consumers beyond shared affinity. Our research seeks to understand the manner in which consumers undergoing intense risk-filled separations from family and friends use brands in their communication with distant loved ones. Specifically, we examine the manner in which deployed military and their family and friends utilize brands in their interpersonal communications. Using historical documents, brand promotions that explicitly call upon patriotic military themes, interviews with families that have experienced a military deployment, and online forums for deployed military and their families, we uncover the strategic use of brands within personal communications during intense risk-filled separations. We examine outward facing consumer-brand bonds. We find two basic categories: comfort brands and military endorsed brands. For each of these, there are two consumer brand relationship trajectories: continuing (once begun they are maintained in and out of military service) and contextual (only active during active military service). We find that consumers utilize brands as virtual proxies signifying safety and representing home during intense risk-filled separations. Both consumers at home and those deployed share pictures and stories of shared brands to strengthen bonds and communicate shared safety.

Hope Jensen Schau is the Associate Dean of Eller MBA Programs, and holds the Gary M. Munsinger Chair in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. Hope‘s research focuses on brand building, integrated marketing communications, and the impact of technology on marketplace relationships and collaborative value creation. Her research has been grant funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Marketing Science Institute, the Center for Research on Information Technology in Organizations (CRITO), and the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. She has published in high profile venues including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing among others.

Consumer Journeys: Take 2

Some recent theoretical momentum calls for considering consumer choices as unfolding journeys especially, for example, for analyzing how consumers approach a purchase decision. Journey is an old word that simply means to travel on a trip or voyage. Yet, as a lived experience, a journey embodies rich feelings of surprise, adventure, change, learning, retracing steps-equal parts process and destination with stories to follow. In this conceptual presentation I posit new research questions that come from considering four major consumer action domains as journeys: connections, transformations, transcendence and life narratives. I argue that by examining these action domains not as identify projects, jobs to be done, or even consumer needs, but instead as journeys we uncover new ways of thinking about how brands travel with consumers in their important life journeys. This presentation also serves as a call to action. Rebecca Hamilton and I are editing a special issue of Journal of Academy of Management Science next summer that will focus on Consumer Journeys. We are also organizing a spring 2017 conference in Amsterdam with this theme.

Linda L. Price Is Department Head and Professor of Marketing and Soldwedel Family Fellow in the Department of Marketing, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, Tucson. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Organization Science. She has served as President of the Association of Consumer Research, and was the 2013 winner of the Academy of Marketing Science‘s Cutco Vector Distinguished Marketing Scholar award.