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The idea of symbolic consumption is based on the assumption that consumption is more than just functional problem solving: products and brands have significant meanings; therefore, they can be utilized as symbols in the cultural ecosystem. However, grasping the meaning of a specific brand can be confusing because it would presume knowledge about the brand as a symbol shared by the customers. We review the contradicting findings in the literature about the symbolic meaning of brands, and we initiate a new reference point in order to dissolve the above mentioned conflict. According to our understanding, the symbolic meaning of a brand shall be examined in the context of specific brand communities and not in general. We suggest that limiting the scope of research to brands with brand communities resolves several limitations of symbolic consumption studies focusing on general issues. Our theoretical model distinguishes the different types of brand communities based on their main cohesive force. In the model, at one end we find image based brand communities where the brand image is the main cohesive force, while at the other end we find brand-subcultures where the members are more committed to each other than to the brand.

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The goal of the paper is to analyze the demographic discrepancies in the relationship between customers’ perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their loyalty towards mobile telecommunication companies, within the particular socio-cultural and economic context of one of the largest national markets of Central and Eastern Europe. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among a sample of 1,464 mobile telecommunication customers from the urban areas of Romania. The findings emphasize several significant dissimilarities between gender, age, education and residence type based consumer categories in what concerns the impact of various CSR dimensions, as perceived by customers, on corporate brand loyalty. The results have practical implications for enhancing corporate brand loyalty in the regional mobile telecommunication market by outlining those CSR policies which should have priority in implementation and, especially, communication.

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More and more research is dedicated to address the phenomenon of online word-of-mouth (WOM). Concerning electronic WOM, three major underlying motives can be differentiated: opinion seeking, opinion giving and opinion passing (Flynn et al. 1996; Sun et al. 2006). The main aim of the research is to analyse the relationship between these three dimensions and the level of customer satisfaction. The research is based on a representative sample of 1000 respondents living in Hungary. According to the hypothesized Structural Equation Model (SEM), we can conclude that online opinion seeking behaviour has a significant positive impact on levels of customer satisfaction, as well as on opinion giving and opinion passing. This implies that opinion leaders not just share, but also collect enormous amounts of information about products and services and raise their expectations according to feedback. By doing so, their prior expectations are in relation to the true customer value of online stores and products. This means that customer satisfaction — measured using the disconfirmation paradigm — will reach a higher level, so it is advisory for online retailers to encourage customers to give feedback, write reviews, because it will affect the customer satisfaction level in a positive manner.

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The purpose of this paper is to implement the regularities of product innovation in the field of marketing. The article takes a look at the different understandings of the concept of marketing innovation and it states that although the innovation concept is widely discussed in marketing literature, it lacks one important element: the “missing link” is an analysis of the relation between product innovation and marketing innovation. The paper discusses the different patterns of innovation and points out that the marketing of a product category displays a similar evolution cycle. Using the dominant product-form analogy, the author presents his hypothesis about the existence of a dominant marketing mix. He argues that as the dominant product form emerges, it is accompanied by a dominant marketing form, and he states that such standardised marketing will dominate the scene until the next discontinuous innovation.

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The paper seeks to explore the pricing strategies used by Hungarian food retail chains and how these strategies are related to the market and financial performance of the chains. A two-phase empirical research was carried out in 2011/2012. The research is based on 44 in-store observations, the analysis of price promotion leaflets and interviews with retail professionals. In-store observations focused on collecting data on baseline prices. The price promotion leaflets enabled the assessment of the promotional activity of the observed retailers. The interviews were used to check the validity of the research results. By grouping the analysed 11 retail chains along baseline price levels and price promotion activities, three different types of pricing strategies were identified. A relationship was found between the three pricing strategies and the performance indicators of the included chains. An important finding is that retail chains with a medium price level and low promotional activity were the least successful, while retailers with a low price level and high promotional activity achieved the best performance.

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The study focuses on the analysis of a short term retail event. Its success is similar to Black Friday, but differs in underlying consumer motivations. Using a mixed methodology, phenomenological interviews provided in-depth understanding of the participants’ lived experiences followed by an online survey with a sample size of 761 respondents. Exploratory factor analyses has been used to differentiate three distinctive groups with hierarchical cluster analysis. By adopting the ANOVA method, clusters and hypothesis were further analysed. This study is the first to employ quantitative study for a shopper taxonomy of such an event. Our results contribute valuable insights into retail shopping orientation and shopper taxonomic scheme literatures. The finding that a short term retail event’s shoppers form distinct groups of consumers indicates a new way of customers embracing retail events. Our research has identified three distinct shopper clusters based on the different weight of task and social orientations: Loyalists, Enthusiasts, Newbies. Each group applies different strategies to satisfy personal goals. The present shopper taxonomy offers new strategic ways to increase retail performance by targeting the most valuable customers.

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The advent of service-dominant logic has led to increasing attention being given to value experienced by customers in the marketing literature. Customers’ shopping value is multidimensional and consists of two dimensions, namely utilitarian value and hedonic value. The main objective of this study was to determine whether selected constructs impact on value and whether value impacts on loyalty amongst customers of a firm operating in the South African supermarket industry. The findings indicate that satisfaction has the strongest relationship with utilitarian value, which, in turn, has a strong relationship with customer loyalty. More loyalty will not result from an increase in the hedonic value that a supermarket customer experiences, regardless of an enhanced shopping experience.

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The paper examines the motivational drivers behind the participation of Hungarian consumers on a special shopping event, also known as Glamour Days. The study encompasses a variety of related conceptualizations such as hedonic/utilitarian shopping values, self-gifting as well as impulsive buying practices. After the introduction of relevant consumer behaviour concepts and theoretical frameworks, the paper presents a qualitative research on adult and adolescent female consumers’ shopping experiences during Glamour Days. By building on phenomenological methodology, this study also portrays the ways this shopping event has changed consumer society within an originally strongly utilitarian attitude driven Hungarian culture. The phenomenological interview results highlight differences within the motivational drivers of pleasure-oriented shopping for the two age groups. For teenagers, the main motivation was related to the utilitarian aspect due to their financial dependence and the special opportunity to stand out of their peer group by joining an event that is exclusively held for adult women. On the other hand, adult women are motivated by combined hedonic and utilitarian values manifested in self-gifting and impulse buying within an effectively planned and managed shopping trip. Based on the results, retail specific strategies are provided along with future research directions.

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This study examines the impact of mother-child interactions on youth purchase decisions with a clear focus on dependent young adults living in the parental home. Two studies were carried out using both quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to understand the characteristics of young adults’ purchase decision-making. In the first study, a survey was distributed among young adults, and in the second study, several short essays from pairs of young adults and their mothers were analysed. Findings suggest that mother-child communication has a significant impact on children’s consumer decision-making style. Furthermore, these results draw particular attention to the laissez-faire communication style, which is relevant due to both its prevalence and its influence on youth decision-making. We also conclude that the product or service category is a critical consideration when the independence of young adults is evaluated in relation to their purchases.

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Abstract

In a higher education institution, perceptions and values are split due to the emergence of subcultures, and market orientation is split into competitive, customer (student) and interfunctional orientation. This study seeks to shed light on the concept of market orientation in this context through a comparison of perceptions and values of market orientation in subcultures in a higher education institution in Hungary and consider avenues for potential best practice. Through a mixed method approach, subcultures are identified and are found to exhibit a combination of overlapping and disparate market-oriented values and perceptions. Market orientation is found to be a continuum and affected by an array of latent variables, such as level of support (institutional and collegial), attitudes to performance appraisal and extent of external focus. Management must tailor the initial message of a market orientation strategy to the shared values at the organizational level, and then adjust the message and incentives to each subculture. In this way, management can create an atmosphere of cohesion, whilst addressing diversity in subcultures.

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