ESCP Europe Business School

Creativity Marketing Research Seminar Series

Location: ESCP Europe London Campus

Speakers and Themes

Please note that in order to attend these events you will need to contact Ms. Karin Casanova via email

Egocentric Categorization: Self as a Reference Category in Product Judgement & Consumer Choice

Liad Weiss

Gita V. Johar


Previous research uses categorization principles to analyze the interplay between individuals and groups. The present research uniquely employs categorization principles to analyze the interplay between individuals and products. It proposesthat consumers classify owned (but not unowned) products as integral to their personal self (experiment 1). Consequently, consumers judge product traits (e.g.,masculinity) as consistent with their own traits (assimilation) iftheyowntheproduct, but as inconsistent with their own traits (contrast) if they interact with the product but do not own it, even when owning the product is nondiagnostic of its properties (e.g., following random ownership assignment; experiments 2-4). For example, less creative consumers who enter a drawing for an iPhone may judge it as less creative (assimilation) if they win the product, but as more creative (contrast) if they do not win the product. Moderators of these effects are identified, and their theoretical and substantive implications are discussed.

Our Speaker: Gita V. Johar

Autumm seminars 2013Gita Johar (PhD: NYU; MBA: Indian Institute of Management) has been on the faculty of Columbia Business School since 1992 and is currently the Senior Vice Dean and Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business. Professor Johar's expertise lies in consumer psychology, focusing on how consumers react to marketing efforts, especially advertising, promotions and sponsorship. She also examines the influence of consumer self-control and perceptions of control on decision making and consumption. This research has implications for the design of effective communication strategies.

She has published several influential articles in the areas of consumer persuasion and decision making in leading marketing journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Psychological Science and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Professor Johar currently serves as the Associate Editor of two major journals in her field, the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Consumer Research and sits on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Consumer Psychology. She served as co-chair of the 2010 Association for Consumer Research conference. Professor Johar teaches courses on Advertising and Branding, Global Marketing Consulting for Social Enterprise, Research Methods, and Consumer Behavior to MBA, Executive MBA and PhD students.


50 Shades of Trash - How Consumers Explain Themselves When Taste Regimes Devaluate Their Consumption

Caroline Wiertz


The question of what constitutes "quality" in the context of media has been hotly debated for decades. Certain media offerings that are referred to as "trash" in vernacular are very popular, despite or maybe because of their dubious "quality." To explore this paradoxical consumption phenomenon, we conducted a mixed-methods study in the German cultural context, drawing on survey data, archival data, and depth interviews. We identify dominant characteristics of media trash offerings and identify the taste regimes responsible for the negative evaluation of media trash. Furthermore, we explore how consumers of media trash explain their consumption practices when dominant taste regimes devaluate these very practices.

Our Speaker: Caroline Wiertz

Caroline Wiertz

Caroline is a Reader in Marketing at Cass Business School. She holds an MSc in International Business and a PhD in Marketing from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Caroline's main research interests lie in the areas of consumer research and new media marketing. She has published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Service Research, and Organization Studies. Her article on communal service delivery in the Journal of Service Research was a finalist for the journal's 2010 Best Article Award. In 2011, she won the Franco Nicosia Award for the Best Competitive Paper presented at the Association for Consumer Research Conference, and in 2013, the Award for the Best Social Media Paper at the American Marketing Association's Winter Conference. 

In addition, her research has been reported widely in the commercial press, such as The Economist, The Financial Times, The Times, the Independent, the German Handelsblatt, Spiegel, Wirtschaftswoche, Frankfurter Rundschau and Berliner Zeitung, and the French Strat├ęgies, Le Bourse et la Vie, Chef d'Entreprise and E-Marketing, among others.


Gratitude and Indebtedness in Supplier-Reseller Relationships: Different sides of the same coin?

Ko de Ruyter


Firms often spend large amounts of time, effort and money on training and engaging their channel partners and building long-lasting relationships. One main rationale for investing such irrecoverable resources in these business partner relationships is the expectation that this will be reciprocated by the resellers, as they are grateful for the investments. However, these expectations may not always be met and, indeed, have not always been unequivocally reported. In this paper, we posit that this may be because prior research has failed to differentiate between gratitude and indebtedness. Gratitude is a positive affect that is exhibited when individuals benefit from someone else's effort that effort was costly, intentional, voluntary, and of value to the recipient. When individuals feel grateful, they behave more generously toward their benefactor in response and exert more effort in helping out the benefactor with an unrelated task. Additionally, gratitude leads to the reappraisal of the benefactor's positive qualities. Indebtedness, on the other hand, has been described as a sense of obligation to repay, an unpleasant state accompanied by negative emotions that is associated with avoidance rather than approach behavior. Thus, as a different side of the same coin, indebtedness may have a potentially detrimental and unintended impact on business relationships. In addition, the factors that drive both gratitude and indebtedness have not extensively been documented. Finally, what is known, is that both concepts are not mutually exclusive. However, it has yet to be determined how their subtle interplay influences relational outcomes. In close cooperation with a Fortune 500 computer service and solutions provider, we explore these issues through a longitudinal study of a large sample of its resellers. Our findings reveal that gratitude and indebtedness have opposing main effects on relationship-relevant variables. We further show that these core concepts interact in such a way that gratitude provides a buffer against the negative effects of indebtedness. Finally, we identify important conditions that favor the predominance of either gratitude or indebtedness. We conclude by deriving theoretical and channel management implications from our results.  

Our Speaker: Ko de Ruyter

Ko de RuyterKo de Ruyter is Professor of Marketing and Head of the Department of Marketing at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He has published six books and numerous scholarly articles in among others the Journal of Marketing, Management Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Decision Sciences, Organization Science, Marketing Letters, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Service Research, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Information and Management, European Journal of Marketing and Accounting, Organisation and Society.

He serves on the editorial boards of various international academic journals, among which, the Journal of Marketin,g the Journal of Service Research and the International Journal of Service Industry Management. His research interests concern international service management, e-commerce and customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

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