18 results found
Merlo O, Eisingerich AB, Gillingwater R, et al., 2022, Exploring the changing role of brand archetypes in customer-brand relationships: Why try to be a hero when your brand can be more?, Business Horizons, ISSN: 0007-6813
For over two decades, managers have been encouraged to leverage archetypal meaning to strengthen their brands. Prior research has studied archetypes as universal patterns present in the collective unconscious that trigger an instinctive response in customers, and has argued that brands should evoke one archetype at a time. However, recent evidence seems to suggest that the single archetype view proposed in previous work may have lost its relevance in the marketplace. This study responds to calls for further research into brand archetypes by analyzing more than 2,400 brands and the archetypes they evoke in their marketing communications. The current findings provide support for the continuing relevance and importance of brand archetypes in marketing, showing that brands do connect with customers by evoking specific archetypes consistently. Critically, however, the study demonstrates that strong brands tend to leverage multiple archetypes at the same time, rather than just one. We explore key implications of our findings for theory and management. Avenues for future research and actionable guidelines for managers wishing to leverage archetypal meaning to build strong brands are discussed.
Merlo O, Eisingerich AB, Shin H-K, et al., 2019, Avoiding the Pitfalls of Customer Participation, MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW, Vol: 61, Pages: 10-12, ISSN: 1532-9194
Merlo O, Eisingerich A, Shin HK, et al., 2019, Overcoming the dark side of customer participation, Mit Sloan Management Review, ISSN: 1532-9194
Encouraged by the potential benefits of customer participation, many organizations increasingly rely on customers to provide feedback, suggestions, ratings, comments and complaints directly to the business to improve product or service quality. However, our research shows that the implementation of customer participation initiatives often comes at a hefty price: the potential loss of trust and commitment from frontline service employees (FLEs). Contrary to the popular belief that listening to the customers is always best, we find that in firms where customers are increasingly encouraged to have a say—and where that input is strongly linked to employee rewards, punishments, and incentives—the relational bond between FLEs and the organization may be compromised. The upshot is that FLEs can feel alienated, neglected and disheartened when they perceive that their organization is more concerned with customer input than with FLEs’ interest and well-being. This is the dark side of customer participation. This study explores this tension and sets out to reconcile it. We show how customer participation impacts the contract relationship that is formed between service managers and FLEs, and how it can affect customer interactions and well-being of FLEs. We found that FLEs’ cooperation with customer participation varies according to their anticipated personal consequences. We discuss implications of our findings and provide a set of practical management guidelines.
Merlo OGL, Eisingerich A, Auh S, et al., 2018, The benefits and implementation of performance transparency: the why and how of letting your customers 'see through' your business, Business Horizons, Vol: 61, Pages: 73-84, ISSN: 0007-6813
While some organizations swear by the benefits of transparency and are eager to know how to implement it, many managers are still reluctant or even afraid to use it. Our research reveals that only a few innovative companies have taken steps to leverage a potentially useful form of transparency: the provision of accessible and objective information to customers (e.g., by sharing unbiased benchmark data, publishing unfiltered customer comments, or providing candid product reviews that may praise but also criticize the company’s products). Our study also shows that that many companies remain wary and view greater calls for transparency as a challenge to be managed rather than an opportunity to be traded upon. This is partly due to limited research into the performance benefits of giving customers access to objective information, and lack of practical guidelines on how to actually implement it. The current study addresses these shortcomings: first, by investigating whether performance transparency leads to customer outcomes that can be profitable for an organization; and second, by analyzing the characteristics of successful transparency initiatives in a wide range of industries. The research shows that customers exhibit more trust and are willing to pay a premium to deal with transparent businesses. Also, it uncovers seven effective approaches to implementing transparency. The key contributions of the study are therefore the provision of convincing empirical evidence about the benefits of performance transparency and ways in which management may implement it successfully.
Dong L, Eisingerich A, Merlo O, 2017, Identity Work and Its Influence on Institutions: From Criminal to Success, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, ISSN: 2151-6561
Dong L, Merlo O, Eisingerich A, et al., 2016, Shadow Institutional Field: The Case of the Counterfeit Industry in Guangzhou China, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Publisher: Academy of Management, ISSN: 2151-6561
Eisingerich A, Merlo O, Heide J, et al., 2015, Customer Satisfaction and Purchase Behavior: The Role of Customer Input, 16th Biennial World Marketing Congress on Looking Forward, Looking Back - Drawing on the Past to Shape the Future of Marketing, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 220-220, ISSN: 2363-6173
Prior work emphasizes the role of satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth in affecting customer behavior. This research introduces customer input as an additional important mediating variable and driver of actual customer behavior. Specifically, we combine survey-based data with behavioral data to show that the impact of satisfaction on customer behavior is fully mediated by customer input, while word of mouth acts as a partial mediator in the satisfaction-customer behavior relationship. We thus reveal that the effect of customer satisfaction on actual behavior is contingent on levels of customer input. Furthermore, we demonstrate that satisfaction affects customer input, which ultimately leads to greater future customer purchase from a firm. The results of the study empirically demonstrate that customer participation plays an important role in understanding how satisfaction influences actual customer purchasing behavior.
Liu Y, Eisingerich AB, Auh S, et al., 2015, Service Firm Performance Transparency: How, When, and Why Does It Pay Off?, Journal of Service Research, Vol: 18, Pages: 451-467, ISSN: 1552-7379
Calls for increased transparency and reduced information asymmetry between service firms and their customers are getting louder in the marketplace. Yet, it remains unclear what exactly constitutes transparency in the eyes of customers and how, if at all, service firms benefit from it. This research contributes to extant knowledge by articulating the key properties of service firms’ performance transparency and by developing and validating a parsimonious scale to measure it. We show that through a reduction in customer uncertainty, the provision of accessible and objective information about a firm’s service offering is positively associated with customers’ intention to purchase and willingness to pay a price premium for its service. Furthermore, we find that the positive effect of performance transparency is influenced by customers’ perceptions of a firm’s ability to deliver on its service promise. An important managerial implication of the current research is that performance transparency benefits customers by lowering uncertainty, and hence service firms should proactively consider it as a critical measure that helps differentiate their services from competitive offerings, even when customer perceptions of a service firm’s ability are low.
Eisingerich AB, Auh S, Merlo O, 2014, Acta non verba? The role of customer participation and word of mouth in the relationship between service firms’ customer satisfaction and sales performance, Journal of Service Research, Vol: 17, Pages: 40-53, ISSN: 1094-6705
Evidence has shown that satisfied customers do not necessarily buy more of a company’s products and services, thus spurring researchers to look for a missing link between customer satisfaction and purchase behavior. Word of mouth (WOM) has been advocated as the elusive missing link and as a key indicator of customer-firm relationship strength. Yet, WOM is only one type of customer voluntary performance (CVP). In this study, a second type of CVP, namely customer participation (i.e., customers’ willingness to provide the firm with constructive feedback and suggestions), is argued to be crucial to ensure that a satisfied customer repurchases. The authors develop and test a model that predicts that satisfied customers repurchase when they become productive resources through two spontaneous and cooperative customer behaviors: WOM and participation. The empirical findings support the predictions, thus complementing and extending previous research. This research suggests that while WOM has been heralded as an important factor in firm growth, another factor that is at least equally if not more important to future sales is customer participation.
Merlo OG, Eisingerich A, Auh S, 2014, Why Customer Participation Matters, MIT Sloan Management Review: MIT's journal of management research and ideas, Vol: 55, Pages: 81-88, ISSN: 0019-848X
These days, many businesses are focused on increasing customers’ positive word of mouth. But emphasizing customer participation may be a more important vehicle for generating valuable repeat business.
Eisingerich AB, Merlo O, Auh S, 2013, Why Customer Participation Matters, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol: 55, Pages: 81-88, ISSN: 1532-9194
Merlo O, Lukas BA, Whitwell GJ, 2012, Marketing's reputation and influence in the firm, Journal of Business Research, Vol: 65, Pages: 446-452, ISSN: 0148-2963
Merlo O, Auh S, 2011, The power of marketing within the firm: its contribution to business performance and the effect of power asymmetry, Industrial Marketing Management
Merlo O, 2011, The influence of marketing from a power perspective, European Journal of Marketing, Vol: 45, Pages: 1152-1171, ISSN: 0309-0566
Merlo O, Auh S, 2009, The effects of entrepreneurial orientation, market orientation, and marketing subunit influence on firm performance, Marketing Letters, Vol: 20, Pages: 295-311, ISSN: 0923-0645
Merlo O, Lukas BA, Whitwell GJ, 2008, Heuristics revisited: implications for marketing research and practice, Marketing Theory, Vol: 8, Pages: 189-204, ISSN: 1470-5931
Merlo O, Bell SJ, Menguc B, et al., 2006, Social capital, customer service orientation and creativity in retail stores, Journal of Business Research, Vol: 59, Pages: 1214-1221, ISSN: 0148-2963
Bell SJ, Menguc B, Merlo O, 2004, Social capital, customer orientation and creativity in retail stores, International Conference on Service Systems and Service Management, Publisher: INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS LTD, Pages: 844-849
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