Marketing

How a beer found success with an authentic use of history

Countless times top managers newly appointed to a company immediately announce a better future for their stakeholders, one they declare with conviction will be notably different from the past. Many want to distance themselves from what came before, which they were not part of and in any case cannot change. So they direct attention forward by promising: “We can […]

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    Why e-readers succeeded as a disruptive innovation in the US, but not in Japan

Why e-readers succeeded as a disruptive innovation in the US, but not in Japan

The concept of disruptive innovation has captured the attention of executives around the world. As explained by Clayton Christensen, a disruptive innovation is initially seen as unattractive by mainstream customers and by the leading firms who serve those customers. Eventually, however, those firms lose their leadership positions to new entrants who are willing to develop and improve the innovation […]

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    Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

A debate about whether firms with superior customer satisfaction also earn better-than-average stock returns has been persistent in the academic business and marketing literature (Fornell, Mithas, Morgeson, and Krishnan 2006). Proponents of the customer satisfaction-stock market relationship make a simple, intuitive argument that is highly relevant to both consumers and investors: Companies that do better by their customers also […]

Is the customer king?

We love customers. Popular authors and consultants encourage organisations to satisfy them (Cockerell 2013), delight them (Curtin 2013), and even hug them (Mitchell 2003; though we predict mixed success from following this advice, based on a myriad of background factors). Overall, companies accept these recommendations wholeheartedly. We want loyal customers; we want “raving fans” (Blanchard 1993).

And yet, this singular […]

How salespeople can stimulate the global economy

Currently valued at US$20.4 trillion, ‘no decision’ opportunities are languishing in pipelines all over the world; a global ‘gold reserve’ of seismic proportion waiting to be unlocked by sales people. This is one conclusion from our latest research The Sales Persons Secret Code, which suggests more than 27 per cent of opportunities forecast and pursued by salespeople result in […]

How to turn a Cinderella product into a market queen

Quality, we know, is often necessary, but it’s far from a sufficient condition for market status. Better technologies lose format wars — as Betamax did against the inferior VHS videotape in the 1980s, and as artisanal bakeries did to industrial mass producers.

Losing status, however, is much easier than gaining it. Ask law firms, accounting firms, even universities how they […]

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    How people react to the ‘also recommended’ section of online stores

How people react to the ‘also recommended’ section of online stores

Online shopping with touchscreen ultrabook, by Intel Free Press, under a CC BY 2.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
The “diaper and beer” product placement practice has been a great marketing strategy in traditional retail stores. As e-commerce gains popularity in recent years, online retailers have attempted to replicate this practice in e-commerce.

Is there any website feature that online retailers can exploit to […]

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    How we behave when asked for donations while buying concert tickets online

How we behave when asked for donations while buying concert tickets online

Screen shot from the New York Metropolitan Opera’s website
People like to think about themselves in good terms. When asked for donations they have difficulty turning down the ask. Sometimes they engage in actions to avoid being asked in the first place. It reminds me of kids playing “If I Don’t See You, You Don’t See Me!” They pretend to […]

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    Luxury brand forums set the scene for status competition between consumers

Luxury brand forums set the scene for status competition between consumers

Beauty, by Rachel Hinman, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
We live in a world where we spend increasingly more time online. In fact, online activities are intertwined with many different aspects of our lives, from checking our Facebook profile in the morning over breakfast, to posting photos of our gym achievements on Instagram.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have been seizing the […]

Apple has a business strategy behind the iPhone 7

Apple’s corporate strategy is changing and, once again, not in a way that benefits customers. Here are some of Apple’s latest decisions. Making the iPhone 7 just an incremental improvement over the iPhone 6. Developing a brand new iWatch with several new features. Introducing the Earbuds and in the process removing the earbuds jack and, perhaps the most important […]

To sell more guilty pleasures, tie it to a cause. It works.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility is the latest craze in marketing strategy, and often takes the form of companies donating a portion of their proceeds to select social causes. Companies work hard to identify partnerships that would benefit both them and the charities. But what is the trick to making such efforts effective?

I offer an answer to this question in a […]

Regular exercise makes us better decision-makers

It is well established that regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. Exercise improves brain functioning and slows down age-related decline in cognitive abilities, such as memory and thinking skills.

It is not surprising that promoting physical activity in the workplace has become a trend in the corporate world lately. US businesses now spend about $6 billion […]

How can the wood industry communicate its sustainability?

The efficiency of environmental communication should be built throughout business practices. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (www.luke.fi) has studied this issue by interviewing companies in the Nordic woodworking industry and by analysing recent developments in environmental performance measures.

Wood is a renewable raw material, and thus the environmental performance of wood product companies has the potential to give them a […]

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    Managers’ behaviour in job interviews impacts the firm’s image

Managers’ behaviour in job interviews impacts the firm’s image

If you have ever conducted a job interview, you likely understand that the process is not a one-way street but a multi-lane road with two-way traffic. As an interviewer, you want to assess the applicant’s skills and abilities. Similarly, the candidate also assesses you and your company. What can you do to create impressions that enhance your company’s recruiting […]

What neuroscience can(not) bring to the world of business

Through the clinical application of neuroscience, researchers are now in a much better position to understand and treat brain-related illnesses. However, hardly a day passes without neuroscience being hailed in the media as a panacea for a variety of problems afflicting many non-clinical disciplines. Follow your imagination, and add the prefix ‘Neuro’ to any kind of existing discipline, and […]

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    More customer orientation is not always better for frontline employees

More customer orientation is not always better for frontline employees

In the academic and practitioner community, the emphasis has been placed on how being more customer oriented promotes job satisfaction and improves sales outcome (Brown et al. 2002; Donavan, Brown, and Mowen 2004). Although this absolute level approach (i.e., the more the better) has been the dominant paradigm in customer orientation (CO) research, this neglects the social context in […]

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    Customer participation is no panacea for the development of new products

Customer participation is no panacea for the development of new products

Firms regularly assume that they can improve their innovation performance by involving customers in new product development (NPD) and tapping into customer knowledge about their needs and potential solutions. However, not all firms have benefitted from this practice. We undertook an investigation to explain why the returns from customer participation vary substantially across contexts and what marketers can do to […]

Firms write contracts to exploit consumer overconfidence

Overconfidence is a common error that can lead people to make poor choices because they misforecast future product usage and overestimate their abilities to navigate contract terms. The value of a gym membership depends on how often you think you will go to the gym, and the value of a mobile phone contract depends on how much data you […]

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    Market forces and competition are not necessarily detrimental to sustainability

Market forces and competition are not necessarily detrimental to sustainability

The consumption of sustainable foods and drinks is becoming common in certain categories. This provides us with an opportunity to study markets that have transformed from merely “unsustainable” to “sustainable” consumption. As approximately three fourths of the coffee consumed in the Netherlands is being produced in a sustainable way, the Dutch coffee market is a market from which we […]

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    A fun toy or a useful watch? How do people make purchasing decisions?

A fun toy or a useful watch? How do people make purchasing decisions?

‘Tis the season to shop and ‘tis the time to be torn apart by shopping dilemmas — which “it” items to buy and which ones to forgo?!

Imagine that David is browsing through his favourite retailer’s website and he is stopped dead on his (digital) tracks by scores of must-have items. To make his shopping task easier he decides to […]