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Symbolic visuals in advertising: The role of relevance.

Description: Relevance has been applied to various conditions in the marketing literature but no single definition has been developed. A single clear definition will be helpful to researchers investigating relevance in the marketing and consumer behavior fields. Confusion also exists in the literature regarding to what extent a symbolic visual in an advertisement is relevant. Many researchers are also calling for empirical evidence of a linkage between relevance and response through a theoretical measure of relevance. The central theory used in this dissertation is Sperber and Wilson's (1995) theory of relevance (TOR). TOR can help researchers and marketing managers by explaining how consumers may interpret visuals in advertising. TOR explains why some visuals thought to be unconnected with the product become relevant in advertising. This study makes the assertion that TOR has been underutilized and even ignored by some researchers in past marketing literature. Thus, TOR is used to provide greater explanatory power of consumers' interpretation and response to advertising visuals than what is currently realized by researchers and marketing managers. A reliable measure of relevance was developed using TOR as a foundation. Experiments were conducted to empirically test TOR and support was found for most aspects of the theory. This dissertation makes several contributions to the consumer behavior literature. These contributions include: 1) clarifying the definition of relevance in advertising, 2) developing a tentative measure of relevance, 3) providing an explanation of how non-relevant visuals produce effects expected for relevant visuals as occurred in experiments conducted by Mitchell and Olson (1981) and Miniard, Bhatla, Lord, Dickson and Unnava (1991), 4) showing how relevance of symbolic visuals in advertisements relates to specific consumer responses, and 5) offering suggestions for how the theory of relevance can be used by researchers and marketing managers to gain a better understanding of consumers' interpretation of ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Holmes, Gary R.

The Impact of Visceral Influences on Consumers' Evaluation of Weight Loss Advertising

Description: The weight loss industry has come under fire from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in recent years due to consumer claims that many firms, marketing weight loss products, are using advertisements in an attempt to deceive consumers. Illegitimate weight loss claims have created so much concern that a White Paper call-to-action to investigate misleading weight loss advertisements has been filed. Despite recent interest, little attention has been garnered concerning the understanding of why consumers respond to potentially misleading weight loss claims. Intuitively, an understanding of why consumers fall prey to weight loss claims may aid academics, practitioners, and policy makers as they make important decisions relative to the weight loss industry and its practices. This study fills that void by applying a theory of visceral influences (TVI) to the context of weight loss advertising. Loewenstein's TVI was developed to aid in explaining why consumers make decisions contrary to their long-term self-interest. Visceral influences are drive states that have a direct hedonic impact, have an effect on the relative desirability of various goods and activities, and consequently, have a strong influence over the decisions consumers make. Common visceral cues (cues associated with any reward linked to a visceral factor) include proximity of reward, vividness of reward, and visual priming. To adequately test TVI in the context of weight loss advertising, a two step approach was used. First, advertiser intent was assessed through content analysis of weight loss advertisements. Second, composite advertisements were created from the content analysis to assess subject response to visceral cues common in weight loss advertising. MANOVA results show that the presence of visceral cues affected subjects' thoughts, buying impulse, affective reaction, intentions, and product evaluation. This research makes the following contributions. First, it addresses an area of public policy where there is a need for research to ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Amos, Clinton L.

Performance Implications of Multi-Channel Strategic Decisions by Incumbent Retailers: The Role of Order of Entry and Degree of Inter-Channel Coordination

Description: The rapidly intensifying adoption of the Internet channel for marketing and sales by incumbent bricks-and-mortar retailers underscores the importance of assessing the impact of the online channel strategies on firm performance in the dynamic competitive environment. At the time when store-based retailers increasingly dominate online sales the questions of when and how an incumbent retailer should adopt an online channel to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage are of utmost interest for both marketing scholars and practitioners. This dissertation investigates the role of two strategic decisions in affecting firm performance: (a) the order of adopting an online channel by incumbent retailers and (b) the degree of coordination between store and online sales channels. The resource-based view and the dynamic capabilities approach are used as theoretical foundations for the study. Following resource-based logic and applying a contingency perspective, this research proposes that firm-specific resource endowments determine the success of the order of online entry strategy for incumbent retailers. This dissertation utilizes the dynamic capabilities approach to propose that the strategy of inter-channel channel coordination leads to higher performance when core, unique dynamic capabilities pertaining to e-commerce are developed in-house, as opposed to being outsourced. By posing and answering the research questions regarding the role of strategic decisions of order of online entry and channel coordination in enhancing long-term financial and operational performance, this dissertation contributes to the development of strategic theory in the nascent areas of electronic commerce and multi-channel retailing, provides further empirical support to resource-based theory of competitive advantage, and assists managers in formulating more informed strategic objectives for achieving multi-channel competitive advantage.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Pentina, Iryna

An exploratory investigation of the effects of co-production and co-consumption on the characteristics and adoption of service innovations: the customer's perspective.

Description: Customers play an active role throughout the marketing process. This dissertation concerns itself with customer's co-creation of value for self (co-production) and for other customers (co-consumption) during service production and delivery. With the servuction system as its overarching framework, this study explains how changes in the customer's perceived co-production and co-consumption, caused by a service innovation, influence her perceptions of service innovation characteristics and modify her adoption behavior. It draws on a multidisciplinary body of knowledge and develops a conceptual framework and a set of substantive propositions. The empirical research was contextualized in three services: self check-out at grocery stores, Build-A-Bear stores, and meal assembly centers. It focused on members of Generations X and Y who were familiar with these services. The qualitative investigations and pilot study helped adapt the extant scales and construct new scales. In line with prior works, the focal service encounters were simulated through a series of consumption scenarios. The exploratory factor analysis in the pilot study and the confirmatory factor analysis in the main study indicated that the instruments were culturally informed, internally reliable, and construct-wise valid. The results indicate that co-production and co-consumption play important roles in explaining innovation characteristics and adoption decisions. More specifically, the focal customer's co-production of the service for self (CPS), other customers' co-production of the service for the focal customer (OCP), the number and the nature of other customers (crowding and homophily) can help to explain the focal customer's evaluation of service innovation characteristics as well as her adoption decision. The focal customer's disposition to participate (DTP) and its interaction with CPS are also useful explanatory constructs. Focal customer's co-production of the service for other customers (CPO) and its interaction with DTP emerged as non-significant. In comparing the high- and low-DTP groups, it was found that the former was ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Zolfagharian, Mohammadali

How componential factors and constraint enhance creativity in the development of new product ideas.

Description: New product ideation is the transformation of a raw idea into a robust concept with consideration of fit and feasibility of technologies, customer benefits, and market opportunity. Although the ideation process often involves ambiguous processes, it is the most critical activity in new product development (NPD). As a creativity task, the ideation process is considered heuristic rather than algorithmic. However, managing the ideation process as either a completely heuristic or an entirely algorithmic procedure leads to just conventional outcomes. Rooted in cognitive psychology, this study proposes that ideation activities in NPD should be pursued as Simonton's "constrained stochastic behavior." An ideation task not only needs good componential factors but also requires constraint to frame the task by precluding unwieldy ideas while promoting high variability of ideas. Focusing on the inputs and attempting to strike a balance between algorithmic and heuristic ideation process may provide the mechanisms to manage the psychological perceptions with an aim to stimulate and orchestrate the ideation staff's cognitive efforts to generate the creative idea. To achieve this goal, new product idea creativity is considered as the ideas that could turn out to be products that are novel to and useful for customers, and appropriate to firms' existing production systems. In addition, the study asserts that componential factors include two factors: specialization representing idea creators' depth of NPD knowledge, experience, and skills in a product domain, and diverse expertise representing the breadth of ideation team's knowledge, experience, and skills concerning the same domain of NPD. These factors are essential and collectively can enhance creativity in the development of new product ideas. Finally, goal constraint is defined, operationalized, and incorporated in the NPD ideation framework. This constraint encapsulates the overall criteria and stylistic principle for a particular product domain and reflects the frame of reference for new product ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Hirunyawipada, Tanawat

An empirical investigation of the salient dimensions of Baby Boomer and Generation Y consumers' health care decision choices.

Description: The purpose of this research is to empirically investigate consumers' health care decision choices in a dynamic market setting. The unprecedented demands on the U.S. health care system coupled with the mounting controversies surrounding health care reform suggest that consumers' health care decisions warrant empirical research attention. Toward this end, this dissertation empirically explored (1) the characteristics of consumers who possess a willingness to use non-conventional treatments over conventional treatments, (2) the characteristics of consumers who elect self-medication in lieu of health care practitioner-directed medication, and (3) the salient dimensions of consumers' channel choice for the procurement of health care products. Each of these decision choice factors were tested across two U.S. generational segments to assess whether differences existed across Baby Boomers' and Gen Yers' health care decision choices. The conceptual framework for empirical assessment is Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. From Bandura's social cognitive theory, a general model of healthcare decision choice is proposed to assess consumers' states of mind, states of being and states of action (decision choice). Results indicate that social cognitive factors (e.g., self-efficacy, objectivism) play an important role in each of the decision domains explored in this dissertation. Moreover, health value was found to be an important moderator between the social cognitive factors and health care decision choices. The predictors of the health care decision choices were found to vary across the Baby Boomers and Generation Yers on several dimensions, confirming the notion that generational differences may be a salient dimension of consumers' health care decision choice. The research offers several implications for practitioners, academicians and policy makers. Both descriptive and normative implications are gleaned from the research findings. Most notably, the results indicate that consumers' social cognitive factors and health value may be mechanisms for managing health care decisions.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Krishnankutty Nair Rajamma, Rajasree

Connective Technology Adoption in the Supply Chain: The Role of Organizational, Interorganizational and Technology-Related Factors.

Description: Supply chain management (SCM) is an area that offers organizations significant opportunities for both cost reductions and revenue enhancement. In their article, "Supply Chain Management: Implementation Issues and Research Opportunities," Lambert, Cooper and Pagh defined SCM as the "integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders." Adopting and implementing appropriate technology has emerged as a source of competitive advantage for supply chain member firms through the integration of business processes with suppliers and customers. It is important to understand the factors influencing an organization's decision to acquire such technology. In the context of this study, connective technologies are defined as wireless communication devices and their accompanying infrastructure and software which may enhance coordination among supply chain partners. Building on previous literature in the areas of supply chain management, marketing strategy, and organizational innovation, a model was developed to test the relationships between organizational, interorganizational, and technology-related factors and the adoption of advanced connective technology, using radio frequency identification (RFID) as the test case, in the supply chain. A Web-based survey of supply chain professionals was conducted resulting in 224 usable responses. The overall model was statistically significant with four of the predictors significantly influencing the adoption of RFID in the supply chain. Size, centralization, new product advantage and time to achieve targeted ROI were significantly related to adoption of connective technology (RFID). Interorganizational related factors were not significant predictors of connective technology adoption. The study contributes to theory by testing scales from marketing and management in a supply chain context in order to better understand behavioral dimensions of supply chain management and logistics. The conceptualization and measurement of market orientation at the interfirm level advances the market orientation literature. Finally, the study contributes ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Neeley, Concha Kaye Ramsey

Stereotypes in Retail Print Advertising: The Effects of Gender and Physical Appearance on Consumer Perceptions

Description: The retail sector spends millions of dollars each year advertising to consumers. This is a considerable investment for companies seeking effective ways to inform and persuade the consumer. Consequently, retailers need to develop creative message strategies and tactics that will positively affect consumer attitudes. One particular tactic available to retailers is the use of a spokesperson in the advertisement. Salespersons are used in numerous advertisements and can provide key benefits to an advertiser. However, to maximize these benefits, retailers need to carefully select the spokesperson that will be most effective for their store and product. This purpose of this research is to examine the characteristics that influence consumers' perceptions of print advertisements that include a spokesperson in the advertisement. Most of the past literature concerning spokespersons has concentrated on the consumer perspective of meeting and interacting with a living, breathing person. This research seeks to use the past research on salespeople to examine the spokesperson as a cue in a print advertisement. In this perspective, the consumer views the spokesperson from a visual-only perspective. The proposed experiment will utilize print advertisements from two retail businesses. More specifically the study will investigate how consumers react if the individual viewed in the advertisement is typical (matches with their preconceived stereotype) or if the salesperson is atypical (does not match with their preconceived stereotype). This research also examines how men and women are viewed differently in the spokesperson role and how changes in physical appearance may impact consumers' perceptions. The research also studies the influence of spokesperson stereotypes on consumers' cognitive responses.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Allen, Charlotte

The influence of sales force newcomers' met expectations on selected outcome variables: Development and testing of a model

Description: Sales management researchers and practitioners give considerable attention to early employment expectations, attitudes, and behaviors primarily because of a desire to specify the cognition process leading to performance and retention of salespeople. While a massive body of literature exists concerning turnover of employees and determinants of employee performance, more empirical study specific to the sales force as a research population is needed to assess the nature of turnover and performance. Because the bulk of salesperson turnover occurs in early employment, particular attention needs to be devoted to the cognitive process of newcomers to the sales force. The present work examines expectation-based and perception-oriented models of performance and retention for sales force new hires. Interests of this investigation focus on the initial expectations of newly hired sales representatives and on how the degree of fulfillment of these expectations relates to subsequent performance and retention behavior. Extant research suggests that the degree to which expectations are met positively influences mediating variables such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and indirectly influences outcomes such as job performance and retention of newcomers. Alternatively, some researchers contend that these results are due to improper measurement of met expectations. A longitudinal research design and alternative measurement methods are employed here to better assess the role of met/unmet expectations. The proposed study is based on theoretical research from a variety of academic disciplines, and the results of the study will have multi-disciplinary implications. Contributions include: (a) replication and extension of theoretical research concerning processes leading to performance and retention of sales force newcomers, (b) a thorough examination of met expectations as a precursor to early sales force outcomes, and (c) methodological advances in the measurement of met expectations.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Rylander, David H.

Alternative Information Processing Formats for Overcoming Information Processing Deficits in Senior Adults

Description: The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of alternative advertising presentation formats, and the quantity of information presented in advertisements in overcoming possible information-processing deficits in senior adults that could affect their recall of ad attributes and brand name, the cognitive responses generated, and attitude toward the ad. In addition, the study examined the effectiveness of retirement status as a classification or segmentation variable in comparison with the use of the more traditional classification variable, chronological age. A convenience sample of senior adult volunteers from church groups, social clubs, and civic organizations from the local area were randomly assigned to one of nine experimental conditions. The experiment utilized a simulated magazine to test the effects of presentation formats (3 levels), and quantity of information (3 levels) on senior adult's recall, cognitive responses and attitude toward the test ads. Covariates (gender, wealth, education, activity level, health, and income) were used to reduce variance. The findings clearly indicate that the presentation format of the can ad adversely affected the memory of some senior adults. In addition, the results were significantly different across the different age levels. Retirement status was less beneficial than chronological age in the current study, but did reveal a marginally significant difference between seniors due to the number of attributes contained in the test ads. The implication of findings for advertisers and those who design marketing communications for seniors are numerous, and relate to the marketer's communication goals. Senior adults may prefer print media, but the inappropriate use of presentation format and the number of product attributes in the ads could have an adverse and significant impact when communicating with senior adults. Recognition of the information-processing differences of senior adults would result in more effective marketing communications for this rapidly growing and important segment of our ...
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Muller, Lynn F.