Marketing & Sales Research Symposium

3 papers will be presented through the day

Date and Location – Friday May 7th 2021 from on Zoom

10:30 – 12:00: “The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing: The Effect of Visuo-Spatial Cues on Consumption” by Suresh RAMANATHAN from the Great Lakes Institute of Management

Prior research has shown that consumers are often influenced by a variety of perceptual cues. In this seminar, I will present results from two projects showing how a perceptual cue such as the lightness of color of a food affects consumption, and another showing that the visuo-spatial architecture of a food, namely how it is constructed and presented on the plate can also affect consumption. In the first set of studies, my co-authors and I show that lighter colored hedonic (but not healthy) foods evoke a positive halo for the food, making it seem more healthy and tasty at the same time, causing people to overconsume the food unwittingly. In the second set of studies, we explore a phenomenon called the portion size effect (PSE), referring to the tendency to eat more of larger food portions relative to smaller ones. Across three studies, we examine consumer responses to dessert configurations that vary in size and in the location of garnishes. We consistently find that individuals consume more of large desserts when the garnish is set apart from the focal food instead of being placed on top. Drawing on literature on motivation, arousal, and attention, we suggest that the content of the visual field, i.e., what consumers pay attention to, matters in determining the direction of consumption.


13:00 – 14:30: “The Future of Private-Label Markets: A Global Convergence Approach” by Marnik DEKIMPE from the Tilburg School of Economics and Management

While private labels (PLs) represent an opportunity for retailers, they pose a clear threat to brand manufacturers. However, considerable heterogeneity exists across both countries and categories, not only in their current PL levels, but also in their growth rates. This creates considerable ambiguity about their remaining growth potential, not only in developed markets, but also (and especially) in emerging economies. To offer insights in their likely long-run levels, we take a forward-looking approach by means of a convergence model. We apply the model to two unique datasets that together span more than 50 countries, both emerging and developed, across more than 30 product categories. The authors find evidence of partial PL convergence, with substantial remaining heterogeneity across both countries and categories in terms of their expected long-run PL level. The future evolution in two key marketing instruments, new-product introductions by both channels parties, i.e. national-brand (NB) manufacturers and retailers, and the NB-PL price differential are found to play a substantial role in shaping the global PL landscape of the future. Importantly, the long-run impact of both marketing drivers differs from what is currently observed, suggesting that managers should not adhere too strongly to earlier practices when planning for the future.


15:00 – 16:30: “COVID-19 is Feminine: Grammatical Gender Influences Danger Perceptions and Precautionary Behavioral Intentions by Activating Gender Stereotypes” by Tina LOWREY from HEC Paris

Gendered languages assign masculine and feminine grammatical gender to all nouns, including nonhuman entities. In French and Spanish, the name of the disease resulting from the virus (COVID-19) is grammatically feminine, whereas the virus that causes the disease (coronavirus) is masculine. In this research, we test whether the grammatical gender mark affects judgments. In a series of experiments with French and Spanish speakers, we show that grammatical gender affects virus-related judgments consistent with gender stereotypes: feminine- (vs. masculine-) marked terms for the virus lead individuals to assign lower stereotypical masculine characteristics to the virus, which in turn reduces their danger perceptions. The effect generalizes to precautionary consumer behavior intentions (e.g., avoiding restaurants, movies, public transportation, etc.) as well as to other diseases, and is moderated by individual differences in chronic gender stereotyping. These effects occur even though the grammatical gender assignment is semantically arbitrary.

Join the webinar