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When Customer Referral Programs Backfire

Idea posted: July 2019
  • Marketing

A new study reveals that customer referral programs can sometimes backfire: customers are less likely to recommend innovative products when they are rewarded for finding new customers. The study explores the reasons for this surprising negative impact.

Idea #745
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Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Existing Customers and Home Markets Drive Growth

Idea posted: June 2019
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

The biannual Duke Fuqua CMO survey highlights growth strategies that are inward-focused, as well as incorporating the strengthening of marketing capabilities, a significant increase in strategic channel partnerships, continued growth in social media spending, and the continuing emergence of AI.

Idea #741
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Image by Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay

The Relationship of Brand Equity to Behavioural Loyalty

Idea posted: May 2018
  • Marketing

While higher brand equity products will attract greater loyalty from their customers, new research reveals different ways to strengthen the relationship between equity and loyalty. Such efforts to strengthen the link are worthwhile since the relationship does not always hold true. One customer segment, the study shows, perceives a brand’s equity as high but is not loyal — and surprisingly another segment perceives a brand’s equity as low but still remains loyal.

Idea #704
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Source: Pixabay

Is Paid Search Advertising Worth the Money?

Idea posted: April 2018
  • Marketing

Is branded paid advertising worth the money? A 2015 study based on eBay traffic said no: prospects using brand name searches will find their way to the website, with or without paid ads to lead them. A new study, however, using a brand that is not one of the largest in the world, shows a different result: about half of the customers are lost. 

Idea #695
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The Boy in the Red Vest (detail) Cezanne c-1890 (Courtesy: Foundation E.G. Bührle, Zurich)

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Covert Marketing

Idea posted: March 2018
  • Marketing

With traditional marketing losing its impact in today’s overcrowded marketplaces, marketers are developing creative covert campaigns to create buzz around their products. Sometimes, however, these covert campaigns can backfire. 

Idea #694
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Source: Pixabay

Why Promotions Work Better for Luxury and Hedonic Purchases

Idea posted: March 2018
  • Marketing

New research reveals that promotions are more effective with luxury and hedonic products (think Godiva chocolates or that vacation by the sea) than for more utilitarian products. The reason: they help reduce consumer guilt about the purchase. 

Idea #693
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How User Reviews Replace Advertising

Idea posted: February 2018
  • Marketing

Reflecting the impact of customer review sites, new research shows that independent hotels are adjusting their advertising spending based on reader reviews — the better the reviews, the less they spend. 

Idea #692
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Source: Pixabay

Contradictory Attitudes of Consumers to Bundling

Idea posted: February 2018
  • Marketing

The benefit to companies of bundling products and services is complicated. Consumers will demand more compensation and feel greater dissatisfaction if a component is missing from a bundle than if it is missing in isolation. However, consumers will be willing to pay less for an item added to a bundle (and derive less satisfaction from that item) compared to the same item purchased separately.

Idea #690
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Source: Pixabay

Who’s Influencing Your Stakeholders?

Idea posted: February 2018
  • Marketing
  • Operations
Institutions: Henley Business School

Third party influence can have a major impact on a company’s reputation. By replacing the traditional company-centric communication strategy, a new stakeholder-centric Channel Strategy Model helps companies understand stakeholder perspectives that are outside the companies’ sphere of experience — and opens up new avenues of indirect communication.

Idea #691
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Louis Vuitton store, HK Landmark, Hong Kong (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How Practical Features Sell Luxury Products

Idea posted: January 2018
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

New research reveals that buyers of hedonistic, luxurious products often feel guilty about their indulgent purchase — but that bundling even a small utilitarian feature with the product can assuage this guilt and make consumers more likely to buy and increase willingness to pay.

Idea #687
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Why Customers Put Up With Rude Luxury Shop Assistants

Idea posted: December 2016
  • Marketing

Surprisingly, retail rejection (customers greeted with unfriendly sales staff in luxury stores, for example) can increase brand image in the eyes of ‘rejected’ consumers, thus increasing sales in the short term. In the long term, however, consumers will resent the rejection, and the brand pays the price.

Idea #640
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Official U.S. Navy Imagery – a sailor presents his girlfriend with an engagement ring (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Competitive Implications of Customer Expectation

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Past research has shown that products and services that don’t fit specific market categories are more likely to fail in the marketplace. A new study demonstrates that even a product with all the attributes of its category can fail. To truly understand the competitive dynamics of its market, a company needs to look beyond categories, and focus on the customer expectations that underlie those categories. 

Idea #612
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Plastic face protection from snowstorms. Canada, 1939 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why Great New Products Fail

Idea posted: April 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Many excellent new products fail because companies fail to understand how customers make their purchasing decisions. Specifically, customers decide what they want to buy based on one of two things: their search for new information or the inferences they make based on the information they have. Great new products fail when through their searches or inferences, customers fail to recognize their value.

Idea #601
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How a Marketing Doctrine Overcomes the Flexibility Vs Consistency Conundrum

Idea posted: February 2016
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Diversified or decentralized firm face a conundrum: How do you ensure that marketing decisions are consistent across the entire company without undermining the flexibility required to tailor marketing decisions to local circumstances? The answer: A marketing doctrine based on unique principles that guide without dictating. 

Idea #584
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Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, 1350 BC (Courtesy: Neues Museum Berlin)

How a CEO's Attractiveness Can Boost Shareholder Value

Idea posted: December 2015
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing

Personal appearance, from height to attractive facial features, has been shown to positively influence the financial and career success of individuals. New research links CEO attractiveness to shareholder value, demonstrating that the first impression advantage of an attractive physical appearance can have group as well as individual benefits.

Idea #575
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Why Anthropomorphism Works In Marketing

Idea posted: November 2015
  • Marketing

Talking geckos and other anthropomorphic “spokes-characters,” are ubiquitous in advertisements. Various studies reveal some of the psychological reasons explaining why and how anthropomorphic marketing works — as well as some of the potential risks.

Idea #564
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The McDonalds sign in Times Square (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mapping Brand Strategy: Balancing Centrality Vs Distinctiveness

Idea posted: August 2015
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

A new tool, based on scoring brands on their centrality (i.e. the brand of record) and distinctiveness (i.e. the brand that stands out from the crowd) can help marketers and strategists determine the best paths for growth and profitability. 

Idea #540
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Playing cards from the French Republic (1793-94), revolutionary images replace Kings and Queens

The Role of Identity When an Organization's Purpose Changes

Idea posted: May 2015
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Operations

How do organizations respond to multiple business logics with conflicting sets of rules and norms? New research based on a study of four French business schools reveals that institutional and organizational identities will guide an organization’s response.

Idea #514
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How to Build Brand Equity Through Employee Engagement

Idea posted: December 2014
  • Finance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

From the friendly retail clerk helping a customer to the highly paid consultant who delivers groundbreaking solutions to the business unit, employees can directly impact a company’s brand equity. Therefore, any employee-related policy or resource decision — from training to lay-offs — is in effect a branding issue. 

Idea #466
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Gedränge vor dem Geschäft Thomas Prewein, by Josef Engelhart, 1941 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Surprising Benefit of Long Queues for Customers and Business

Idea posted: October 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

The accepted wisdom is that long lines are bad for business. In fact, they can be very good for business, as long as they are not too long. Research shows that long lines help customers learn what’s worth waiting for, and help businesses attract uninformed customers.

Idea #446
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Replica of Rushworh's music store in Liverpool, where the Beatles bought their first Gibson guitars (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

When Showrooms Help Online Companies

Idea posted: August 2014
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Nearly every bricks-and-mortar company will have an online presence today. But a few intrepid companies are going in the opposite direction: online companies are starting to open offline showrooms — and research shows the result is a boost in sales… and happy customers.

Idea #434
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The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel, fresco detail, 1509, by Michelangelo

Digit Ratio Predicts Men's Product Choices

Idea posted: April 2014
  • CSR & Governance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Marketers have long known that product choice cannot be predicted reliably by knowing someone’s sex. Multiple factors — ranging from age and income to lifestyle and family preferences — influence purchasing decisions. Now, there’s another variable to add to the list. Recent empirical research suggests that digit ratio — the relative lengths of the fore and third fingers — is linked to the product choices of men.

Idea #366
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Building a Brand Image Across Multiple Countries

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Marketing

Multi-country brands should position themselves consistently across markets only on image attributes that are very important in all of the various countries. For example, brand image attributes related to benevolence or self-direction, which are valued highly in most countries, can be used consistently. Better to be inconsistent (used in certain markets only) with a divisive value such as hedonism or power.

Idea #372
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"Drink Coca-Cola 5¢", an 1890s advertising poster (Source: Wikimedia Commons) 

How Advert-Evoked Feelings Sway Attitudes to Brands

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Marketing

A new study, recreating real-world marketplace conditions, shows that positive feelings evoked by ads can create positive feelings toward brands, both directly and indirectly. This applies to all products, although hedonistic products show the greatest impact of ads on brand attitudes.

Idea #363
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Robert Hooke, at Christ Church Oxford, where he studied surrounded by some of his inventions. Painting by Rita Greer 2011 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Great Innovation! But What’s it for? Marketers Beware

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Product designers and marketers might be very excited about a new product with impressive new features and a bold new design. But consumers will not recognize the newness of the product if they cannot figure out what the product is in the first place — which can lead to a major disconnect between the reaction that companies expect from consumers (“Wow, what a great innovation!) and the actual reaction (“What is it?”).

Idea #355
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Online Customers Reviews: Loyalty and Deception

Idea posted: April 2014
  • Marketing

While it might seem easy for competitors to hurt a rival’s sales by posting negative reviews, research reveals that many of the most negative product reviews are written by loyal customers trying to influence company strategy. 

Idea #356
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 A typical "As seen on TV" logo present on many products in the US (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Brand Placement on TV: The Positive Impact of Fast-forwarding

Idea posted: March 2014
  • Marketing

Placing brands with different ‘personalities’ next to each other, as in a block of ads during a TV commercial break, impacts how consumers view the brands, new research shows. For example, a safe, efficient product seems like a more exciting choice simply because its ad followed the advertisement for another product that emphasizes excitement and adventure. But this brand-pairing effect only happens when consumers are not paying too much attention to either brand… as when they’re fast-forwarding through the commercials of a taped TV show.  

Idea #347
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The Reception, by James Gillray, published 1792. Lord Macartney, the first envoy of Great Britain to China, meeting Emperor Qianlong  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When Supply Chain Partners Move Up the Value Chain

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

The role of suppliers in global supply chains has been evolving from simply providing components to manufacturing entire products. Especially for suppliers in emerging economies, however, successfully moving up the value chain requires internal skills and capabilities as well as the willingness of the client to share not only technology but customer-facing capabilities as well. 

Idea #320
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Tobacco Warning (Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Health Warnings Can Boost Sales: Regulators Beware

Idea posted: November 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Warnings of the health risks and possible side-effects of products are commonly considered an important part of consumer protection and responsible marketing. But they can be counter-productive. Recent research suggests they not only fade over time but also lead to perverse increases in consumer confidence and product sales.

Idea #253
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Marmite pop-up, 2009 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Building Brand Equity through Event Marketing

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Marketing

Brand event marketing will increase brand equity through brand experience, especially if the event involves a direct and intense customer experience with the brand. But brand attitude increases brand equity only for certain types of events (namely, trade and street events, but not pop-up shops and sponsored events). Pop-up shops exemplify the best type of brand experience-driven event marketing.

Idea #251
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