The research output from ESMT's faculty is published in international academic journals, which are first-class in their respective fields. These research findings also provide cutting-edge and profound insights for the business community as well as the classroom through managerial publications and case studies.
Two birds, one stone? Positive mood makes products seem less useful for multiple-goal pursuit
Negotiating the pursuit of multiple goals often requires making difficult trade-offs between goals. In these situations, consumers can benefit from using products that help them pursue several goals at the same time. But do consumers always prefer these multipurpose products? We propose that consumers’ incidental mood state alters perceptions of products in a multiple-goals context. Four studies demonstrate that being in a positive mood amplifies perceptions of differences between multiple conflicting goals. As a consequence, consumers are less likely to evaluate multipurpose products as being able to serve multiple distinct goals simultaneously. We conclude by discussing implications of these findings for marketers of multipurpose products.
Designing luxury experience
In luxury brand management, experiences are essential. However, most of what we know about designing customer experiences originates from work developed with and/or for mass brands. Luxury brands are conceptually different and require a specific approach to brand management. Using a grounded theory approach, we present a framework consisting of seven principles to design luxury experience. Our research suggests that to create a true luxury experience brands should go beyond traditional frameworks of brand management. By compiling best practices and the commonalities amongst the interviewed companies’ most successful efforts to create a luxury experience, the framework can help brands to implement a “trading-up” strategy: Luxury brands can enhance their desirability by offering a true luxury experience and non-luxury brands can adopt principles of luxury experience and become life-style brands.
Product development capability and marketing strategy for new durable products
Our objective is to understand how a firm’s product development capability (PDC) affects the launch strategy for a durable product that is sequentially improved over time in a market where consumers have heterogeneous valuations for quality. We show that the launch strategy of firms is affected by the degree to which consumers think ahead. However, only the strategy of firms with high PDC is affected by the observability of quality. When consumers are myopic and quality is observable, both high and low PDC firms use price skimming and restrict sales of the first generation to consumers with high willingness to pay (WTP). A high PDC firm, however, sells the second generation broadly while a low PDC firm only sells the second generation to consumers with low WTP. When consumers are myopic
and quality is unobservable, a firm with high PDC signals its quality by offering a low price for the first generation, which results in broad selling. The price of the second generation is set such that only high WTP consumers buy. A firm with low PDC will not mimic this strategy. If a low PDC firm sells the first generation broadly, it cannot discriminate between the high and low WTP consumers. When consumers are forward looking, a firm with high PDC sells the first generation broadly. This mitigates the “Coase problem” created by consumers thinking ahead. It then sells the second generation product only to the high WTP consumers. In contrast, a firm with low PDC does the opposite. It only sells the first generation to high WTP consumers and the second generation broadly.
When do consumers indulge in luxury? Emotional certainty signals when to indulge to regulate affect
Current theorizing suggests that the valence of an affective state alone cannot explain indulgent consumption but that this is contingent on whether indulging can improve a negative state or will not hurt a positive state. This research shows that when an emotion is associated with the appraisal of uncertainty (certainty), consumers infer that their affective state can (cannot) change. As a result, people in a negative affective state will indulge more when their affect is associated with uncertainty because indulging can help repair the negative state, but people in a positive affective state will indulge more when their affective state is associated with certainty because indulging will not hurt their positive state. Reconciling earlier research reporting apparently inconsistent results linking emotional valence, affect regulation, and indulgence, these findings suggest that the certainty appraisal of specific emotions is important in predicting indulgent consumption to regulate one’s affect. Implications are discussed.
New research video: Francine Espinoza Petersen talks about consumer psychology
"Brands and companies can be seen as people" -- Francine Espinoza Petersen, ESMT Associate Professor, introduces her latest research on consumers' emotions and how emotions shape consumers' judgments and decisions. Her research has been published in leading journals, such as the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making and the Journal of Business Research.
"Brands have to be authentic and true to their personality, but they also have to know how to connect emotionally to their customers to generate this loyalty."
Conditional cooperation: Evidence for the role of self-control
When facing the opportunity to allocate resources between oneself and others, individuals may experience a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and preferences to act pro-socially. We explore the domain of conditional cooperation, and we test the hypothesis that increased expectations about others' average contribution increases own contributions to public goods more when self-control is high than when it is low. We pair a subtle framing technique with a public goods experiment. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that conditionally cooperative behavior is stronger (i.e., less imperfect) when expectations of high contributions are accompanied by high levels of self-control.