Professur für Marketing

Does National Culture Impact Consumer Boycott Prevalence? A Multi-Country Study

In many countries, the number of consumers who participate in boycotts has been increasing during the last decades. Boycotts can have a significant negative impact on firms because they impair sales figures, corporate reputation and stock prices. In this study, we theorise and empirically confirm that national culture determines the likelihood of consumer boycotts. Thus, our paper helps guide firms to international markets where there is less risk of boycott activity. Our analysis reveals that many cultural dimensions strongly co-vary with boycott prevalence. In particular, the risk of consumer boycotts rises with the practical scores of in-group collectivism. The paper outlines avenues for further research and provides multinational companies with guidelines to help predict boycott prevalence in the targeted markets.

Hoffmann, S. (2014). Does National Culture Impact Consumer Boycott Prevalence? A Multi-Country Study, European Journal of International Management, 8(2), 141-159.and Comic Wit in Print Ads, Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 36(1), 70-87.

Surprise, Surprise. Ambient Media as Promotion Tool for Retailers

Ambient media evokes surprise with the aim of gaining the attention of consumers who are overexposed to traditional types of advertising. No study has yet considered the effects of unanticipated ambient media. To bridge this gap, the present article reports a field experiment entailing the manipulation of three types of ambient media that create different levels of surprise. The analysis combines observation data for 2,464 passersby, survey data from 305 respondents, and sales figures for 730 days. Triangulation was used to interpret the data jointly. The results show that surprising ambient media draw attention, promote positive attitudes towards the ad, and word of mouth. Most importantly, ambient media increases purchase intention and sales revenue. Robustness checks ensure that the model is stable across several conditions, such as time of day or weather conditions. The paper provides guidance for companies wishing to design surprising ambient media that improve consumer attitudes and profitability.

Surprise, Suprise
Source: Mai/Hoffmann (2015).

Hutter, K.; Hoffmann, S. (2014). Surprise, Surprise. Ambient Media as Promotion Tool for Retailers, Journal of Retailing, 90 (1), 93-110.

How to Combat the Unhealthy = Tasty Intuition: The Influencing Role of Health Consciousness.

The goal conflict between short-term indulgence and long-term health considerations is at the heart of unhealthy food choices and is thus a key contributor to increased adiposity prevalence. Policy makers often attempt to promote healthy eating behaviors by raising consumers’ health consciousness. Given that previous health campaigns have fallen short of expectations, this article examines the potential of health consciousness to resolve the so-called unhealthy = tasty intuition (UTI). Study 1 explores whether health consciousness attenuates belief in the UTI and its detrimental consequences for food choice and body mass. Study 2 applies the Implicit Association Test to disentangle the UTI’s implicit and explicit processes. Results show that health consciousness operates only through cognitively controlled processes. Using real food products, Study 3 analyzes how health consciousness colors the influence of composition and labeling on tastiness and healthiness perceptions. The studies jointly demonstrate that the UTI partly works implicitly and independently of health consciousness. Thus, the obesity epidemic should be addressed through concerted actions such as policy makers’ health communications and the food industry’s product development.

Combat the Unhealthy

Mai, R.; Hoffmann, S. (2015). How to Combat the Unhealthy = Tasty Intuition: The Influencing Role of Health Consciousness. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. (forthcoming)

Psychologische Grundlagen des Gesundheitsmarketing. Ein Überblick über sozial-kognitive Modelle

Buykott oder Boykott? Neues Paper in Ecological Economics erschienen

Abstract

There are two fundamental ways in which consumers can express their concerns and obligations for society through their consumption decisions: They can boycott companies that they deem to be irresponsible or they may deliberately buy from companies that they perceive to act responsibly (‘buycott’). It has been largely ignored that individuals are driven by different motivational mechanisms to join boycotts and buycotts (punishment vs. reward of corporate behaviors), and thus, these mechanisms have disparate implications for the participating individual (e.g., high vs. low subjective costs because of a restriction in consumption habits). This paper fills this void and develops a framework suggesting that the extent to which consumers translate their concerns and obligations for society into a willingness to boycott and/or buycott is bounded by self-interest. Using a unique, representative sample of 1833 German consumers, this study reveals that the effects of environmental concerns and universalism on buycotting are amplified by hedonism, while the effects of social concern on buycotting and boycotting are attenuated by hedonism and simplicity, respectively. These results have far-reaching implications for organizations and policy planners who aim to change corporate behavior.

Under Which Conditions Are Consumers Ready to Boycott or Buycott? The Roles of Hedonism and Simplicity.

There are two fundamental ways in which consumers can express their concerns and obligations for society through their consumption decisions: They can boycott companies that they deem to be irresponsible or they may deliberately buy from companies that they perceive to act responsibly (‘buycott’). It has been largely ignored that individuals are driven by different motivational mechanisms to join boycotts and buycotts (punishment vs. reward of corporate behaviors), and thus, these mechanisms have disparate implications for the participating individual (e.g., high vs. low subjective costs because of a restriction in consumption habits). This paper fills this void and develops a framework suggesting that the extent to which consumers translate their concerns and obligations for society into a willingness to boycott and/or buycott is bounded by self-interest. Using a unique, representative sample of 1833 German consumers, this study reveals that the effects of environmental concerns and universalism on buycotting are amplified by hedonism, while the effects of social concern on buycotting and boycotting are attenuated by hedonism and simplicity, respectively. These results have far-reaching implications for organizations and policy planners who aim to change corporate behavior.