Lowe, B., Dwivedi, Y. and d’Alessandro, S. (2019). Consumers and Technology in a Changing World. European Journal of Marketing [Online] 53:1038-1050. Available at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/0309-0566/vol/53/iss/6.
This is an editorial to a special issue on Consumers and Technology in a Changing World. Appearing in volume 53 issue 6, European Journal of Marketing (2019)
Hasan, R., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2019). Consumer Adoption of Pro-poor Service Innovations in Subsistence Marketplaces. Journal of Business Research [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.12.075.
Despite some extant research on innovation adoption in subsistence marketplace contexts, little is known about subsistence consumers and how they evaluate so-called pro-poor innovations. This research identified six existing, empirically tested, and well-cited innovation adoption models and collected data on them within a subsistence context. Extending existing research, data was collected across two separate and distinct pro-poor services targeted at the subsistence segment, and structural models were compared based on mediating relationships. This research contributes to the subsistence marketplace literature by providing guidance about how antecedents within these models affect subsistence consumers’ evaluations of pro-poor service innovations in this increasingly important context. The research provides novel practical and theoretical insights through the development of new, testable hypotheses in the area and explores the effect of service type and geographic area (urban versus rural).
Hasan, R., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2019). An Empirical Comparison of Consumer Innovation Adoption Models: Implications for Subsistence Marketplaces. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing [Online] 38:61-80. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0743915618813348.
So called “pro-poor” innovations may improve consumer wellbeing in subsistence marketplaces. However, there is little research that integrates the area with the vast literature on innovation adoption. Using a questionnaire where respondents were asked to provide their evaluations about a mobile banking innovation, this research fills this gap by providing empirical evidence of the applicability of existing innovation adoption models in subsistence marketplaces. The study was conducted in Bangladesh among a geographically dispersed sample. The data collected allowed an empirical comparison of models in a subsistence context. The research reveals the most useful models in this context to be the Value Based Adoption Model and the Consumer Acceptance of Technology model. In light of these findings and further examination of the model comparison results the research also shows that consumers in subsistence marketplaces are not just motivated by functionality and economic needs. If organizations cannot enhance the hedonic attributes of a pro-poor innovation, and reduce the internal/external constraints related to adoption of that pro-poor innovation, then adoption intention by consumers will be lower.
Chan, F. and Lowe, B. (2018). Product placement practices in prime-time television programs in Hong Kong. International Journal of Advertising [Online] 37:984-1009. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2017.1353263.
Product placement research tends to show how product placements impact consumer behavior but less research examines the nature of product placement execution. This is the first study to examine product placement execution in Asia focusing on Hong Kong prime-time television programs. Specifically it explores the prevalence of brand appearances, characteristics of programs linked to brand appearances, features of placed brands and products, modality of brand appearances, character interaction with placed products and the placement context. It was found that integrating brands in television programs in Hong Kong seems to be well supported by advertisers, with one brand appearing in every 11 minutes of programming. Less than half of brand appearances were disclosed at the end of the programs while none were disclosed prior to the program which raises questions about regulation of the practice. Results of the analysis provide useful insights into the practice of product placement in this fast growth context and its (dis)connection with existing product placement literature.
Lowe, B. and Johnson, D. (2017). Diagnostic and Prescriptive Benefits of Consumer Participation in Virtual Communities of Personal Challenge. European Journal of Marketing [Online] 51:1817-1835. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EJM-05-2016-0271.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to show how active participants within personal challenge virtual communities (e.g., virtual health communities, online legal forums etc.) derive learning benefits from their involvement within the community. In doing so the research conceptualises and tests a model of engagement within such virtual communities.
Design/methodology/approach: This research was conducted through the design of a survey administered to an online panel of active participants from several virtual health communities. Structural equation modelling was used to test the conceptual model.
Findings: Along with well researched concepts such as social identification, this research identifies diagnostic and prescriptive benefits as key learning benefits associated with active participation within personal challenge communities. These benefits drive social support which individuals attain from these virtual communities, which in turn drives engagement within the community. It is also found that anticipated negative emotions from leaving the community mediate social support and engagement.
Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to develop a model of consumer engagement with personal challenge virtual communities. The findings make a contribution to the field of online communities by showing how learning benefits (diagnostic and prescriptive) transpire within these communities and by showing how these benefits lead to greater community engagement.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Rahman, M. (2017). Visual cues and innovation adoption among bottom of the pyramid consumers. Qualitative Market Research [Online] 20:147-157. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-04-2015-0032.
Purpose – To explore how visual comprehensibility of a product can affect innovation adoption among bottom of the pyramid consumers (BOP) in Bangladesh.
Design/methodology/approach – This is an exploratory qualitative study based on interviews with 8 managerial respondents involved in the design and marketing of innovative products targeted at BOP consumers in Bangladesh, and 3 respondents who are consumers of these products.
Findings – One key finding from this research, in comparison to innovation adoption research in developed contexts, is the distinct importance that BOP consumers attach to visual cues in learning about and understanding a new product.
Practical implications – This research provides guidance for private and public sector organisations selling products and services to BOP consumers on the role of visual cues in generating better product comprehension. It also identifies the role of social relations in facilitating adoption of new products within this segment.
Social implications – Through enhancing adoption of so called pro-poor innovations this research can assist in bringing about positive social change and developmental benefits in this burgeoning segment of the market.
Originality/value – This is one of the first studies to consider innovation adoption of pro-poor innovations in BOP markets and one of the first studies to collect data on the role of visual comprehensibility for consumers in BOP markets.
Chan, F., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). Processing of product placements and brand persuasiveness. Marketing Intelligence and Planning [Online] 23:311-328. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13527266.2015.1061036.
Purpose -- This research contributes to literature on marketing communication by exploring the roles of depth of processing and the dispositional factor, need for cognition (NFC), on consumer perceptions of product placement.
Design/methodology/approach -- A web-based experiment with a 2 (low versus high prominence) x2 (low versus high brand awareness) x2 (with versus without prior disclosure) between-subjects full factorial design was conducted.
Findings -- The results indicate that prominent placements were found to elicit more extensive processing, which was negatively correlated with brand attitudes. A significant negative relationship between NFC and purchase intention towards a placed brand was also revealed.
Practical implications -- The study offers managerial and policy implications for practitioners and educators. It is suggested that brand practitioners should avoid placing brands too prominently or in film genres which are cognitively demanding. The low NFC group appears to be more vulnerable to covert marketing. Therefore it is suggested that media educators target this group and plan effective media literacy programs to guard youngsters from surreptitious selling.
Originality/value -- This is the first study to empirically examine the role of prominence, brand awareness and prior disclosure in the processing of product placement information and their influence on product placement effectiveness.
Chan, F., Petrovici, D. and Lowe, B. (2016). Antecedents of Product Placement Effectiveness Across Cultures. International Marketing Review [Online] 33:5-24. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/IMR-07-2014-0249.
Purpose -- The research contributes to the marketing literature by developing and testing a conceptual model to examine the effects of product placement across a country low in assertiveness and performance orientation (the United Kingdom) and a country high in assertiveness and performance orientation (Hong Kong).
Design/methodology/approach -- A content analysis of brand appearances in high grossing films within the UK and HK was conducted followed by a 2x2 between-subjects experiment (n=572).
Findings -- The results indicate participants exposed to prominent placements have a less positive brand attitude and lower purchase intention towards the placed brand. Likewise, respondents exposed to a less well-known placed brand tend to have a less positive brand attitude and lower purchase intention towards the placed brand. There is evidence of interaction effects with cultural dimensions such as assertiveness and performance orientation within the UK and HK.
Practical implications -- The results suggest that product placements can be optimized through tailored campaigns targeted at markets with known cultural characteristics. With advances in digital technology such practices are becoming more frequent and more feasible.
Originality/value -- This is one of the first studies to explore the effect of culture on perceptions of product placement and the first study to empirically examine the role of prominence and brand awareness, and their interactions with GLOBE values on the effectiveness of product placement.
Lowe, B. (2015). Should Consumers Request Cost Transparency? Cost Transparency in Consumer Markets. European Journal of Marketing [Online] 49:1992-1998. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EJM-07-2015-0453.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a viewpoint about the role of cost transparency in consumer markets and whether or not consumers should request cost transparency from sellers, in light of the article by Antonis et al. (2015).
Design/methodology/approach – Research in the area of cost transparency, pricing and related theoretical domains is analysed to understand the potential role for buyers and sellers in consumer
Findings – Although there are an increasing number of examples of greater operational transparency in supply chains, cost transparency in consumer markets is not widespread. Increased cost
transparency represents an important product attribute for consumers, enhancing fairness perceptions and affective evaluations. For sellers, it is a potentially powerful complement to price moves and, through enhancing trust among consumers, can positively influence brand value(s).
Research limitations/implications – Operational and cost transparency holds much promise as an emerging area in marketing but research into cost transparency in consumer markets is in its early
stages and the limited number of field examples reduces the scope for empirical work. However, using carefully controlled lab experiments, much can be done to understand the generalisability and
boundary conditions to its effect.
Originality/value – This paper takes a balanced view about value to consumers and the implementation of cost transparency in consumer markets, highlighting key mechanisms through which greater transparency may influence consumer product evaluations and concluding with some caveats in relation to its practice.
Balcombe, K., Fraser, I., Lowe, B. and Souza Monteiro, D. (2015). Information Customization and Food Choice. American Journal of Agricultural Economics [Online] 98:54-73. Available at: http://ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/1/54.
In this article we employ a hypothetical discrete choice experiment (DCE) to examine how much consumers are willing to pay to use technology to customize their food shopping. We conjecture that customized information provision can aid in the composition of a healthier shop. Our results reveal that consumers are prepared to pay relatively more for individual specific information as opposed to generic nutritional information that is typically provided on food labels. In arriving at these results we have examined various model specifications including those that make use of ex-post de-briefing questions on attribute non-attendance and attribute ranking information and those that consider the time taken to complete the survey. Our main results are robust to the various model specifications we examine.
Lowe, B., Souza-Monteiro, D. and Fraser, I. (2015). Changing Food Consumption Behaviors. Psychology & Marketing [Online] 32:481-485. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.20793.
Few products are as pervasive and essential to our everyday lives as food: food fuels and satisfies our body, but also excites, disgusts, arouses, stimulates, and tantalizes all of our senses. It is functional and utilitarian, yet also hedonistic. Food consumption is also often a social act and our environment strongly influences what we consume. Yet, despite its obvious importance to us and our well-being, it appears that as a society the consumption of food has led to a variety of difficult challenges that require some level of behavior change by consumers. Though several decades of research have sought to find answers to the many food consumption challenges that exist, it appears that excessive consumption of the “wrong” foods and its consequences (e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.) have begun to override prior concerns about food consumption deficit. Levels of obesity seem to be rising globally and apparently “no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years” (Ng et al., 2014, p. 766).
Lowe, B., Fraser, I. and Souza-Monteiro, D. (2015). A change for the better? Digital health technologies and changing food consumption behaviors. Psychology & Marketing [Online] 32:585-600. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.20802.
Much of the existing literature in the area of food and consumer behavior concerns consumer evaluation of individual products. However, obesity and other food related health conditions typically occur as a result of poor diets and lifestyle, rather than poor individual product choices. As consumers, we generally have an imperfect understanding of our diet and lifestyle and use heuristics to process complex diet and lifestyle information. Increasingly, as ubiquitous computing applications in the area of food and consumption proliferate a number of questions arise about how consumers are using these technologies to assist them in processing their diet and lifestyle information. This article addresses this juncture by integrating streams of research in food consumption, information processing and technology adoption to better understand consumer interaction with Digital Health Technologies to assist in information processing. As this represents a relatively new stream of research in an area of growing importance the article develops a conceptual framework about consumer interaction with Digital Health Technologies and identifies a number of pertinent questions for future research to examine.
Lowe, B. and Alpert, F. (2015). Forecasting consumer perception of innovativeness. Technovation [Online] 45-46:1-14. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2015.02.001.
How innovative is a new product to consumers? Why is it perceived to be innovative and does perceived innovativeness affect consumer intention to adopt new products? Some investigations have explored consumers’ perceptions of innovativeness, but this research is fragmented and contains no comprehensive definition and examination of the construct of “consumer perceived innovativeness” (CPI—how innovative the product is from the consumer’s perspective). This study proposes a new conceptualization for CPI based upon extant theory, qualitative research and two quantitative pilot studies. It then identifies and tests key causes and consequences of CPI on a national sample of consumers using a range of different innovations. This allows addressing the “so what?” (consequences) and the “how do you manage it?” (causes). The research extends work in the new product development area by (i) defining CPI within its nomological net and proposing an operational measure based on psychometric testing, (ii) suggesting that affect is more usefully viewed as a consequence of CPI rather than a dimension, and (iii) highlighting the important, yet often overlooked role, of perceived technology newness. These findings provide managers with a useful and practical theory for understanding and influencing consumer perceptions of a product’s innovativeness.
Johnson, D. and Lowe, B. (2015). Emotional Support, Perceived Corporate Ownership and Skepticism toward Out-groups in Virtual Communities. Journal of Interactive Marketing [Online] 29:1-10. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1094996814000450.
Consumers often look to virtual communities for knowledge and support in overcoming the challenges they face. This article examines the role of emotional support in virtual communities that help participants to cope with personal challenges such as healthcare, financial or legal matters. It examines the potential for peer to peer emotional support experienced in virtual communities to generate skepticism toward related out-groups such as doctors and drug companies. It also examines the degree to which corporate ownership of the virtual community reduces the degree to which emotional support generates skepticism toward out-groups. Guided by predictions of social identity theory, we use data from 270 regular participants in healthcare virtual communities to show that emotional support does generate skepticism toward out-groups. However, we find that this effect is reversed when the virtual community is reported by participants to be corporate owned. We offer guidance to public policy makers on the potential negative consequences of skepticism and we provide advice to managers on how to counter skepticism and improve community stickiness.
Lowe, B., Lynch, D. and Lowe, J. (2015). Reducing Household Water Consumption: A Social Marketing Approach. Journal of Marketing Management [Online] 31:378-408. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.971044.
There is increasing pressure for society to move towards more sustainable use of its resources, and calls in the literature have been made to reassess marketing’s role in achieving such goals. This research examines how key behavioural factors influence household water use, in the context of a social marketing programme to reduce household water consumption. A model of the key drivers of household water consumption is developed and tested using a sample of 909 households in a regional city in Australia. The findings from this study support the model developed and show that in the absence of price as a rationing mechanism, the social marketing programme significantly reduces household water consumption.
Statement of contribution: This is the first study to develop a comprehensive and empirically tested model of the non-price drivers of household water consumption, within the context of a social marketing intervention. The findings make a contribution to the field of consumer behaviour and social marketing by illustrating key behavioural drivers of water consumption. Consequently the study also shows how marketers can assist in preserving essential goods and services such as water.
Laffey, D., Lowe, B. and Gandy, A. (2015). Online Retail Financial Services in a Changing World. Service Industries Journal [Online] 35:499-501. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02642069.2015.1048432.
After the hype of the dot-com boom and the lessons which were learnt, financial services have seen the emergence of many successful innovations. Falling search costs through comparison websites, search engines and review websites have lowered information asymmetries enabling consumers to compare prices and products. The online environment has also changed dramatically with the emergence of social media, and in recent years mobile, and the challenges this poses for organisations.
This special issue is thus topical and makes a contribution both to researchers who focus on online services, and particularly financial services, and to managers looking for guidance.
Chan, F., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2015). Young Adults’ Perceptions of Product Placement in Films: An Exploratory Comparison between the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Journal of Marketing Communications [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2015.1061036.
Even though young adults are a major audience of films and the main target group for product placement, very few studies explore how youngsters across cultures perceive and interpret this marketing communication tool. This study explores this issue through thirty-two in-depth interviews conducted in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. The comparative analysis focused on four aspects: (1) young consumers’ movie consumption habits and their exposure to product placement; (2) their general views towards product placement and advertising; (3) their perception of different execution styles of product placement and its impact; and (4) the regulatory and ethical concerns of product placement. Results indicate that the young generation actively engages in interpreting brand integration in films and they were generally positive about it. Although interpretations of product placement are reported on an individual basis, this study suggests that culture may also affect how individuals perceive product placement. This exploratory study raises important issues about cultural differences in the perception of brands placed in films, and provides insights for further research in the area of product placement.
Lowe, B., Lynch, D. and Lowe, J. (2014). The role and application of social marketing in managing water consumption: a case study. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 19:14-26. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.1484.
•Water shortages are an increasingly significant social and economic issue in many countries. Increasing the supply of water is one solution (e.g. desalination plants, new dams), but such measures are expensive. Using price to manage household water demand may be viewed as socially unequitable and politically contentious. Social marketing campaigns, where voluntary behaviour change is the goal, provide the potential to foster sustainable consumption of an increasingly scarce yet essential resource. This paper details a case study of successful water demand management in a drought affected region of South-Eastern Australia. In this region, water consumption was reduced to more sustainable levels through a targeted and successful social marketing campaign. This case is of significant relevance to the field of Social Marketing where there are increasing calls for research into environmental issues in general and water consumption in particular (Kotler, 2011). The extant research literature and this case study are integrated to form several propositions about household water consumption behaviour. Consequently, this paper contributes to the literature by providing a conceptualisation of how residents respond to water conservation related social marketing campaigns. Key issues include the potential for reciprocal behaviour by consumers when a water authority is perceived to manage the water problem effectively, and linking behaviour change through structural approaches (e.g. subsidies and restrictions) and voluntarist approaches (e.g. attitudinal change).
Lowe, B., Yeow, P. and Yee, F. (2014). Price promotions and their effect upon reference prices. Journal of Product and Brand Management [Online] 23:349-361. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-01-2014-0485.
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to resolve inconsistencies in the literature about how one-time price promotions affect reference prices.
Specifically, this study suggests that the measure of reference price used within a study (e.g. expected price or fair price) can affect the outcomes
of that study.
Design/methodology/approach – This research uses three separate experiments, replicating and extending existing work, to simulate purchasing
decisions for products in the context of a price promotion. Experiments allow careful control of the confounds presumed to cause the inconsistencies
Findings – Study 1 shows that measurement of different reference prices within the same experiment leads to carryover effects, which inflate the
correlation between measures. Expected price and fair price appear to be conceptually and empirically distinct and should be measured separately
to reduce design artifacts. Study 2 shows that one-time price promotions affect fair price, but not expected price, and Study 3 shows expected price
and fair price converge after multiple promotions.
Research limitations/implications – Independent measurement of reference price concepts allows robust claims about their distinctiveness. These
findings have implications for how reference price should be measured in survey research and for pricing and promotional strategy.
Originality/value – This research contributes by showing how the measure of reference price used affects the outcomes of price promotion studies.
It does this through the replication and extension of past research. Replication allows greater confidence in the findings of past research, and testing
the same findings under different conditions allows for the boundaries of existing research to be delimited and generalizations to be made.
Lowe, B., d’Alessandro, S., Winzar, H., Laffey, D. and Collier, W. (2013). The Use of Web 2.0 Technologies in Marketing Classes: Key Drivers of Student Acceptance. Journal of Consumer Behaviour [Online] 12:412-422. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cb.1444.
With the proliferation in Web 2.0 technologies, many marketing educators are experimenting with new teaching and learning tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Second Life). The benefits of such technologies are often touted by scholars, and indeed, there is a good deal of evidence to support such a view. However, increasingly, educators are highlighting some of the limitations of technology in the learning environment. To draw parallels with other new product research in marketing, the adoption of new learning technologies is often not so widespread. The literature exhibits inconsistency about the willingness of students to adopt new technology in a learning environment, but no systematic research into the factors that affect technology acceptance yet exists. This research fills a gap in the literature by applying an augmented Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to understand students' future intentions to adopt Twitter, a Web 2.0 technology shown to offer students a variety of benefits. By using partial least squares, the research shows that the main proximal driver of student adoption of Twitter is a utilitarian attitude. Students need to be convinced about ‘what's in it for me’, rather than persuaded about the technology's hedonic benefits. Other affective variables such as an individual's affinity with computers and risk tolerance were also found to be important drivers of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, the TAM's key antecedents.
Lowe, B., Souza Monteiro, D. and Fraser, I. (2013). Nutritional Labelling Information: Utilisation of New Technologies. Journal of Marketing Management [Online] 29:1337-1366. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2013.798673.
The increase in food-related diseases in society has led to a variety of public policy and private sector initiatives, such as the use of nutritional labels. Although nutritional labels have been shown to be broadly effective in terms of informing food choice, their influence is moderated by a variety of factors, such as how information is conveyed and processed by consumers. Recent advances in technology might overcome these limitations. Using a choice experiment, this paper examines consumer preferences for alternative technological devices that may aid consumer processing of nutritional information on food packaging. The results show which attributes of the technology consumers prefer, and identifies three distinct segments of consumers (‘information hungry innovators’, ‘active label readers’, and ‘onlookers’), and differences between them in relation to their preferences, demographics, and psychographic characteristics. The identification of segments is a novel aspect of this research, and highlights the importance of finding more customised solutions to the communication of nutritional information – an issue to which technology can contribute.
Lowe, B. and Hasan, M. (2018). Adoption of Pro-poor Innovations in the Context of the Base of the Pyramid and Subsistence Marketplaces: Challenges, Opportunities and Research Agenda. In: Dwivedi, Y. K., Rana, N. P. and Slade, E. L. eds. Emerging Markets from a Multidisciplinary Perspective: Challenges, Opportunities and Resaerch Agenda. Springer International, pp. 243-254. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75013-2.
In countries such as Bangladesh some innovations have diffused rapidly and been taken up by large segments of the population (e.g., mobile phones). However, some innovations which offer the promise of time saving, greater efficiency and better economy have been slower in their take up (e.g., gas stoves). What explains these contrasting examples? The study of consumer innovation adoption is vast. However, the majority of research in this area has been written about economically developed economies where consumers have excess disposable income to spend on the latest gadgets. Yet, innovations benefit economically less wealthy consumers too (e.g., mobile banking, information communication technologies etc.). Such innovations have been termed pro-poor innovations by some (Ramani, SadreGhazi, and Duysters 2012) and are innovations which offer some developmental benefit within so called “Base-of-the-Pyramid” markets. The literature in this area is fragmented and scattered across numerous disciplines such as business, health, development, economics and others. Given this, researchers interested in this area have great opportunities to expand our knowledge base and contribute to an area of societal importance. This chapter reviews literature in this area, presents some challenges (opportunities!) for doing research in this context and provides a future research agenda.
Lowe, B., Sullivan-Mort, G. and Hasan, M. (2018). Connecting with Consumers in Subsistence Marketplaces: An Abstract. In: Rossi, P. and Krey, N. eds. Finding New Ways to Engage and Satisfy Global Customers Proceedings of the 2018 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC). Springer, pp. 29-30. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02568-7_10.
Research about consumers in subsistence marketplaces (Viswanathan and Sridharan 2009; Viswanathan and Rosa 2007) has grown substantially in line with interest in this market. Beyond the development literature, which has always had a focused interest in such consumers and their reactions to various development interventions, recent interest in such consumers has stemmed from the seminal work of CK Prahalad (Hart and Prahalad, 2002) on the so called bottom-of-the-pyramid, where a role for businesses in reducing poverty has been articulated. Consumers in such marketplaces seem to face a variety of constraints which affect their behavior and these are typically based around income, economic stability (e.g., high inflation), political factors (e.g., governance, political instability, legal systems) and infrastructural challenges (e.g., distribution channels, erratic electricity supply, unreliable transport). Such constraints lead to consumption behaviors that are likely to deviate from existing models where such constraints are less of an issue. A number of themes arise in the literature.
One common theme is based around differences in urban and rural environments. For example, rural consumers seem to shop more frequently, form closer relationships with local retailers, spend less on technology and have fewer technological capabilities. Likewise, typical demographic variables (e.g., urban versus rural environments, age, gender) also seem to influence consumption with younger consumers having a better knowledge and capability to use technology. As might be expected, income level is a key factor in explaining consumption behavior. Other individual based factors also seem to be very important, including literacy level, which seems to affect how such individuals process information on products, packaging and advertising. For example, low-literate consumers are typically seen to process information pictographically rather than textually. Similarly, low literate consumers are more likely to be characterised by concrete information processing which suggests a focus on individual attributes rather than more abstract trade-offs between multiple attributes.
Given the more typical collectivist cultures of many subsistence marketplaces such consumers are often seen to be heavily influenced by their social context and rely on a good deal of social capital to make decisions – where possible, the assistance of friends and family, for example. Social networks act as an important learning resource that consumers can draw on when needed. These social networks manifest themselves further through local opinion leaders who can also heavily influence decision making. The literature points to some interesting reactions towards price. The typical assumption is that lower prices are better, addressing the affordability constraint. However, as in economically wealthier markets prices are highly subjective and individuals have been shown to react more favorably to products and services which have a small positive price compared to when the product and service is free.
Although interest in the area has increased substantially, research in the area is fragmented and spans a number of disciplines. This paper synthesizes existing knowledge about consumer behavior in subsistence marketplaces, highlights gaps and presents a future research agenda. Implications for not-for-profits and a future research agenda will be outlined.
Chan, F. and Lowe, B. (2017). The Effect of Placement Context on Brand Persuasiveness. In: Back to the Future: Using Marketing Basics to Provide Customer Value Proceedings of the 2017 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66023-3_104.
This empirical study extends the existing advertising literature to explore the effect of humor in less conventional advertising, product placement. Product placement, or the integration of branded information in media content, has been extensively studied in the past three decades. However, the context of product placement is comparatively under researched. Product placement context refers to the circumstances under which a brand was placed. Previous content analyses have shown that product placement tends to be largely associated with humorous elements (La Ferle and Edwards 2006). Humor has been shown to influence traditional advertising (Eisend 2009), but its effect within embedded advertising has yet to be systematically examined. In addition, most previous studies were conducted in Western cultures (e.g., US and the European countries). This study accounts for this gap by studying general consumers in a Chinese context and explores the effect of humor on the persuasiveness of placed brands.
This study predicts and finds that humor facilitates the recall of placed brands and has a positive impact on brand attitudes. This affective effect of humor in product placement is determined by two moderating factors include program involvement and psychological trait reactance. A content analysis of 225 hours of prime-time television programs were conducted follows by a quasi-experimental study of 1100 television viewers. It was found that humor has a positive effect on brand attitudes for participants with high involvement with the program. Psychological trait reactance interacts with humor to influence brand attitude. Specifically, individuals with high trait reactance are more positive toward brands placed in a humorous context while low trait reactance are more positive toward brands placed in a non-humorous context. The theoretical and managerial implications derived from the findings together with the research avenues are discussed.
Lowe, B., Lynch, D. and Lowe, J. (2017). Pricing and Consumers in a Changing World. In: Hinterhuber, A. and Liozu, S. eds. Innovation in Pricing: Contemporary Theories and Best Practices. Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Innovation-in-Pricing-Contemporary-Theories-and-Best-Practices/Hinterhuber-Liozu/p/book/9781138738270.
This chapter will explore key behavioral aspects of pricing, drawing on links to the rapidly changing world of technology. Specifically, the chapter will begin by contrasting traditional perspectives on price with more contemporary perspectives on price; it will then examine the notion of perceived value and its multifaceted nature. The chapter will then outline the key behavioral aspects of price including internal and external reference prices, pricing and consumer perceptions of fairness, price endings, decreasing and increasing price, price–quality perceptions, and consumer price knowledge.
Lowe, B., Lowe, J. and Lynch, D. (2012). Behavioral Aspects of Pricing. In: Hinterhuber, A. and Liozu, S. eds. Innovation in Pricing: Contemporary Theories and Best Practices. Routledge. Available at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dYQE2S30BZcC&oi=fnd&pg=PA357&dq=info:kIiBgScsR1QJ:scholar.google.com&ots=P0onF4HiHD&sig=c1ACtAgjYN9GjFE0C0nYcILHP6M&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Buyers sometimes exhibit seemingly “irrational” behavior with respect to prices and use socially embedded heuristics to simplify their purchase decisions. In some cases small changes in prices can lead to much larger than anticipated changes in sales and profitability. Sellers need to understand the heuristics consumers use, the situations in which they emerge, and recognize how they can respond in markets where information and knowledge of product attributes and competitive prices is increasingly available via the Internet. This chapter explores consumers’ behavioral reactions to price through a review of contemporary literature in the field of pricing. The chapter delineates the nature and scope of these effects based upon a critical review of the most up-to-date empirical research in the field, and concludes by providing implications for innovation in pricing, and guidance for managers to reduce the disconnect between themselves and consumers.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2018). Toward an Integrated View of Pro-poor Innovation Adoption in the BOP Market. In: Li, J. ed. Academy of International Business 2018 Annual Meeting. Available at: https://aib.msu.edu/events/2018/.
Chan, F. and Lowe, B. (2018). The Moderating Role of Psychological Trait Reactance in Humorous Product Placements. In: 93rd Western Economics Association Annual Conference. Available at: http://www.weai.org/AC2018.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). Pro-poor Innovation Adoption in the BOP Market: Toward and Integrated View. In: Christiansen, J. K., Goffin, K. and Hatchuel, A. eds. 25th Innovation and Product Development Management Conference. Available at: http://www.eiasm.org/frontoffice/event_announcement.asp?event_id=1283%20.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). Towards an Integrated Theory of Pro-Poor Innovation Adoption in the BOP. In: Verhoef, P. C. ed. 46th EMAC Annual Conference. Available at: http://www.emac-online.org/r/default.asp?iId=FMHGKF.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). Consumer Adoption of Innovations in the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid: Empirical Evidence from Two Services in Bangladesh. In: LaRoche, M. ed. Royal Bank International Research Seminar.
Specifically, this research contributes by providing the first empirical comparison of key theoretical consumer innovation adoption models in the BOP context. The research provides interesting practical and theoretical insights about consumer innovation adoption in the BOP cultural context but further testing within the context is needed to establish confidence in these findings.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). Antecedents of Adoption of Pro-poor Innovations in the Bottom of Pyramid: An Empirical Comparison of Key Innovation Adoption Models. In: 2016 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress. Springer. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47331-4_214.
Most research into innovation adoption has been done within economically advanced countries. However, there is a growing need to understand consumer evaluations of innovations in “Bottom of the Pyramid” (BOP) markets (Nakata and Weidner 2012; Prahalad 2010) in light of their size, potential for growth and the development benefits of “pro-poor” innovations (Ramani et al. 2012). This research aims to provide guidance to managers and policy makers on influencing adoption of pro-poor innovations in BOP markets. Prior research has developed a range of models to provide guidance here, but these have typically been validated on consumers in economically advanced economies. Following a procedure similar to Venkatesh et al. (2003), this research contributes to the literature on innovation adoption and the BOP by empirically comparing seven existing consumer-based innovation adoption models in Bangladesh, a country often associated with the BOP. It does this through the development of a consumer survey (n = 311) based around existing consumer innovation adoption models and consumer evaluations of bKash, a mobile banking innovation. Interestingly, it was found from this research that affective constructs, such as enjoyment of using the technology, have the strongest influence on adoption intention relative to more utilitarian constructs such as perceived usefulness, perceived value and perceived ease of use. Therefore, it seems that consumers in the BOP don’t just look for functional, utilitarian benefits but are also concerned about affective and hedonic gratification. The results also show BOP consumers evaluate the compatibility of a new product within the context of their existing lives and are heavily influenced by their social setting, in light of their collectivist nature. Given the various internal and external constraints (e.g., low literacy rate, poor health, lack of infrastructure, political instability, and economic constraints) constructs such as perceived behavioral control were also found to be important in their adoption decision. Constructs such as perceived usefulness, perceived value, and perceived ease of use were also found to be important in the evaluation of a new product but were less important than originally anticipated. This means that even though a product may be useful, usefulness alone is not sufficient as a driver for innovation adoption in the BOP; if governments and corporations cannot enhance the hedonic attributes of a new product, and reduce the internal and external constraints related to adoption of that product, then adoption by BOP consumers will be lower. Finally, this research suggests that the Value-based Adoption Model and the Consumer Acceptance of Technology model perform best when predicting adoption intention of BOP consumers.
Hasan, R., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2017). An Integrated Model of Pro-Poor Innovation Adoption Within the Bottom of the Pyramid: An Abstract. In: Rossi, P. and Krey, N. eds. 2017 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress. Springer, p. 171. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68750-6_53.
Both for-profit and non-profit/NGO/social businesses may target bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) consumers as potential new market segments and to better serve the needs of this often neglected group of consumers. Research on BOP consumers has attracted considerable attention recently. Despite financial constraints, BOP consumers have been seen to be adopters of innovations which enhance their well-being – these are often known as pro-poor innovations. However, very little is known about how such consumers adopt innovations with the majority of innovation adoption research conducted in wealthier economically more advanced economies. To understand the antecedents of innovation adoption in the BOP, this research contributes to the literature by developing an integrated model of pro-poor innovation adoption for use within the BOP. It does this by identifying and empirically comparing existing and widely cited models in the context of a BOP market, with a survey conducted in Bangladesh, and then using these results, along with theory in the area, derives the new integrated model. The new model is validated using a new product category and sample. The findings from this research provide valuable theoretical and practical guidance to academics and managers on the key antecedents of pro-poor innovation adoption within the BOP.
Souza Monteiro, D., Lowe, B. and Fraser, I. (2016). Changing food choice behaviors using calorie counters. In: Teyssier, S. and Crosetto, P. eds. 1st Winter Workshop on the Behavioral and Experimental Economics of Food Consumption.
Hasan, M., Lowe, B. and Petrovici, D. (2016). Consumer Pro-Poor Innovation Adoption within the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid. In: Academy of Marketing Annual Conference. Available at: https://www.academyofmarketing.org/conference-2016/2016.
Chan, F. and Lowe, B. (2016). Exploring the Prevalence and Execution of Brand Placements in Hong Kong Prime Time Television Programs. Available at: http://www.aejmc.org/home/2016/06/adv-2016-abstracts/.
Product placement involves the planned integration of branded products into media content with the aim of influencing audiences. A majority of product placement research tend to be focused on understanding its impact on consumer behavior variables such as brand recall, attitudes, and purchase intentions (Chan 2012). Less research, however, examines the nature of placement execution, and those which do are outdated and are focused mainly on western contexts such as the US. This study utilizes and extends the framework developed by La Ferle and Edwards (2006) to document and explore the execution of product placement in Hong Kong. Specifically it examines 1) the prevalence of brand appearances; 2) the characteristics of programs with brand appearances; 3) features of placed brands/products; 4) modality of brand appearances; 5) extent of character interaction with placed products; and 6) general characteristics of placement context. An extensive content analysis of five weeks of prime-time programming on three free-on-air television channels in Hong Kong was conducted. A coding protocol was developed with items adapted from earlier studies (Ferraro and Avery 2000; La Ferle and Edwards 2006; Smit, van Reijmersdal and Neijens 2009) and a few items added specifically for the current study. In the 225 hours of prime time television programming, 1225 brand appearances were identified. It is equivalent to about one brand appearance in every 11 minutes of programming. The results provide valuable insights to communication scholars and brand practitioners with regards to brand placement strategies.
Souza Monteiro, D., Lowe, B. and Fraser, I. (2013). Do conusmers value mobile technologies to assess nutritional information in retail environments?. In: American Marketing Association, Marketing and Public Policy Conference.
Fraser, I., Balcombe, K., Lowe, B. and Souza Monteiro, D. (2013). Attribute Non-Attendance and Attribute Importance Ranking Responses with Discrete Choice Experiments. In: 137th European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) Seminar.
Chan, F., Petrovici, D. and Lowe, B. (2013). The Role of Depth of Processing and Need for Cognition on Product Placement Effectiveness. In: Academy of Marketing Annual Conference.
Lowe, B. and Alpert, F. (2013). Antecedents and Consequences of Consumer Perception of Product Innovativeness. In: Annual AMS World Marketing Congress.
Souza Monteiro, D., Lowe, B. and Fraser, I. (2013). Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Technology to Provide Nutritional Information in Retail environments. In: AMA Marketing and Public Policy Conference.
Chan, F., Petrovici, D. and Lowe, B. (2013). Cultural Differences in the Perception of Product Placement in Films. In: European Academy of Marketing 42nd Conference.
Lowe, B., Souza Monteiro, D. and Fraser, I. (2012). Nutritional Information Labeling and New Technologies: An Exploration of Consumer Preferences. In: Rita, P., Dionisio, P., Marques, S., Pereira, H. and Vinhas Da Silva, R. eds. European Academy of Marketing 41st Conference.
Lowe, B., Lowe, J. and Lynch, D. (2012). Demarketing the Consumption of Household Water: Key Drivers and Implications for Social Marketing. In: Dibb, S., Harris, F., Roby, H. and Schaefer, A. eds. ISM-Open Conference.
Karangi, S. (2017). AN INVESTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRODUCT HAPTIC ACCESSIBILITY AND CONSUMER RESPONSE: A BRAND PERSPECTIVE.
Consumers generally like touching products before buying and prior research indicates that touching influences the purchase decision-making process (e.g. McCabe & Nowlis, 2003; Peck & Childers, 2003a; Peck & Johnson, 2011; Peck & Shu, 2009; Webb & Peck, 2015). For example, touching products has a positive effect on consumer attitudes, intentions and behaviours and these effects seem to vary by product category, situational context and need for touch. Touch research however has principally received scant attention and is one of the most under researched senses in behavioural research (Spence & Gallace, 2011).
Consumers consider both product and brand name when making purchase decisions (Raju, 1977) yet despite continuous calls from researchers for the investigation of effects of brand on product touch, research in this area has not been forthcoming. This might in part be due to limited theory and conceptualizations in the emergent area of product touch therefore resulting in a lower level of understanding regarding how it and brand name could interact.
Responding to these calls for research (Grohmann et al., 2007; Jansson-Boyd, 2011; Peck & Childers, 2003a; Peck, 2010), this research project aims at developing a richer understanding of the influence of product touch by examining the moderating effects of brand familiarity and brand status, on the relationship between product touch and product evaluation, purchase intentions, confidence in judgement and willingness to pay. Essentially, the research extends brand familiarity, brand status, product knowledge and contagion theory literature to the emerging field of sensory marketing, specifically related to product touch.
Sheena W. Karangi PhD Thesis 2017 Page ii Adopting an experimental factorial between subjects design, findings from two experiments make five key contributions to knowledge: 1) This research project advances knowledge by conceptualizing previously unexplored relationships between
three key areas of literature, namely product touch, brand familiarity and brand status (luxury brands). Conceptual advances are critical to the vitality of the marketing discipline (MacInnis, 2011). 2) It takes an innovative view to extending sensory marketing literature on product touch by examining boundary conditions for touch effects beyond just product categorization (brand familiarity, brand status). 3) Adds to the brand familiarity literature by providing empirical support for a negative brand familiarity effect. 4) It extends the concept of need for touch to brand literature, identifying contexts in which it effects still apply (brand familiarity) and where it surprisingly does not (brand status). 5) In extending contagion theory to brand literature, it is one of the first studies to show a brand contagion effect and furthermore, demonstrate its activation through product touch. Practical implications, limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed in detail in Chapter 7.
Hasan, M. (2016). Consumer Adoption of Pro-Poor Innovations in the Bottom of the Pyramid.
In the context of the developing world the marginalised and poor have gained new significance and are a focus for marketers owing to C.K. Prahalad’s (2005) seminal work on the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) market. To lessen and improve the lives of the poor, pro-poor innovations are necessary for this market. However, when pro-poor innovations are developed for the BOP market, it is important to understand that the BOP exhibits different characteristics from the middle and high income consumer market because of different constraints faced by BOP consumers in their day to day life. Pro-poor innovations must, therefore, be developed that are tailored for this market and its unique surroundings (e.g., economic constraints, unreliable electricity etc.), to overcome these constraints. There are examples in the BOP market, where very useful pro-poor innovations (e.g., pure drinking water) with clear social benefits were unsuccessful in this market. Therefore, it is important to understand the complex array of antecedents to pro-poor innovation adoption in the BOP context so that practitioners and policy makers can maximise their chances of success in this large and socially important market.
To understand the antecedents of innovation adoption, a range of theoretical models were developed (e.g., Value based Adoption Model, Consumer Acceptance of Technology model) but these have typically been validated within western, developed contexts. However, there is little research, which has investigated pro-poor innovation adoption in the BOP context. This research seeks to understand consumers’ pro-poor innovation adoption in the BOP context through:
1) empirically comparing seven innovation adoption models,
2) conceptually and empirically formulating an integrated pro-poor innovation adoption model, and
3) validating the newly developed model for the BOP.
This research investigated these three objectives by conducting two studies. Study 1 was carried out to empirically compare the validity of seven consumer based innovation adoption models in the BOP. Following the procedure of Venkatesh et al. (2003), the empirical results of this comparison were coupled with theory in the area to conceptualise and develop a new model of innovation adoption for the BOP, coined here as the Integrated Theory of Pro-poor Innovation Adoption (ITPIA). Later, Study 2 was conducted to validate the newly developed ITPIA model in the BOP market. Consequently, this research contributes significantly to our understanding of the antecedents to consumer innovation adoption in this market through integrating elements of seven well-established consumer based innovation adoption models. The ITPIA model explains innovation adoption better than these existing seven models, which were mainly developed to explain innovation adoption by wealthier consumers in western contexts. This thesis also contributes by taking account of consumer heterogeneity such as urban and rural BOP area and different age groups.
Although it may be common to assume that the BOP market want cheap products to suit their needs, the ITPIA model developed here shows that successful pro-poor innovations should address more than the lack of money of the BOP segment. It appears from this research that BOP consumers are not just rationally motivated. This research contributes by showing that BOP consumers don’t just look for functional, utilitarian benefits but are more likely to adopt a new product if it provides some degree of affective and hedonic gratifications. Interestingly, whereas consumer innovation adoption related research (Venkatesh et al., 2012) in developed country contexts suggests that intention is the strongest predictor of usage behaviour, this research contributes by providing the fact that supporting environment, which reduces external and internal constraints related to adoption of pro-poor innovations, is the strongest determinant of intention and usage behaviour of BOP consumers. Therefore, this research provides valuable theoretical and practical guidance about key antecedents, which influence the consumer adoption of pro-poor innovations in the BOP context, and this is of relevance to academics and policy makers with an interest in these markets.