Company News • 15.12.2015

Researchers see role of narcissism in customized products

Implications for retailers and manufacturers

Title of the article: The Influence of Trait and State Narcissism on the...
Title of the article: The Influence of Trait and State Narcissism on the Uniqueness of Mass-Customized Products
Source: Carson College of Business

Researchers say a rising trend in narcissism is cause for retailing and manufacturing firms offering customizable products to rethink their marketing strategies.

Writing in the Journal of Retailing, marketing and psychology researchers from the University St. Gallen, Washington State University and Ruhr University Bochum offer insights into how firms can increase the uniqueness of self-designed products by examining consumers' narcissistic behavior.

"An increasing number of retailers and manufacturers provide their customers with the opportunity to create individualized, unique products," said David Sprott, WSU marketing professor and co-author of the study. "Our research suggests that firms should consider customers' narcissistic tendencies as well as the ability to influence their current states of mind to exploit the largely untapped potential of mass customization systems."

Driving consumers toward self-design options

The researchers focused on the automobile industry to demonstrate how narcissism can be used to enhance marketing strategies. In this industry, firms offer a wide range of options that allow customers to self-design truly unique products.

Yet field evidence indicates that few shoppers fully use these systems. For example, most consumers select standard colors (black or white) rather than customize a car with a unique paint treatment (like volcano red).

The researchers conducted four studies showing how narcissism can lead consumers to desire and purchase uniquely designed products. One study established that actual car buyers self-designed more unique cars if they scored higher on narcissism.

Another study demonstrated that firms can put consumers into a temporary narcissistic state of mind with marketing techniques. For example, customers were shown an automobile advertisement with the slogan, 'You impress. Like the new Audi A6,' that capitalized on their desire for admiration.

Overall, the results showed car buyers with higher levels of narcissism selected significantly more unique and expensive cars, as did consumers in a state of narcissism.

Implications for retailers and manufacturers

The researchers demonstrate the importance of offering a variety of customizable attributes for markets where narcissists are likely to exist. They suggest firms need to consider the nature of key market segments when designing mass customization systems.

They say attributes should contain both mainstream options, as well as more unusual, unique options. Firms may also benefit by indicating product uniqueness, such as percentage shares indicating how frequently an option is selected by other consumers. The research also implies that firms need not increase customer share of true narcissists in order to enhance product uniqueness. Rather, a firm can realize similar benefits by creating narcissistic states.

"A Nike tagline 'my mass-customized Nike shoes look amazing,' could be changed to 'my mass-customized Nike shoes impress,' to induce a narcissistic state that encourages a consumer to self-design a unique product," said Sprott.

Narcissism on the upswing

The study coincides with what researchers refer to as a narcissism epidemic. Studies show narcissism has increased 30 percent between 1979 and 2006 and is likely to continue with the rise of social media and self-promoting trends.

Additionally, data shows narcissists rate customizable and personalizable products more favorably and are willing to pay more for them. Thus, the implications of this research could be relevant for a large number of firms.

The article is available online.

Source: Washington State University

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping...
29.07.2019   #sustainability #loyalty cards

Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping

Koin Rewards & Fidel bring loyalty and card-linking together

Koin Rewards, the ethical rewards platform built on the blockchain, announced that it has partnered with card linking API Fidel to build a responsible and sustainable rewards program for shoppers.Koin Rewards is working with Fidel to build a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Crisis management in retail: Making a mountain out of a molehill –...
18.07.2019   #online trading #brick and mortar retail

Crisis management in retail: Making a mountain out of a molehill – what now?

How retailers should prepare for crisis communication

A lengthy order, a faulty delivery, an unsatisfactory customer service - all this is quickly evaluated and spread on the Internet and can have negative consequences for the retailer. We talked to Alexander De Ruiter from OBI4wan about the tasks ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Product ratings: customer-centricity is important...
29.05.2019   #customer relationship management #marketing

Product ratings: customer-centricity is important

Global product ratings study: companies being pushed toward increased customer-centricity

Globally, 54% of companies consider product ratings to be very important to their business. For another 29%, they are somewhat important, while 17% think ratings are not important at all or that they don’t play any role yet. U.S. results ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Leveraging the smartphone – mobile shopping...
13.06.2019   #mobile shopping #mobile couponing

Leveraging the smartphone – mobile shopping

67 percent of consumers are likely to shop with a retailer that offers mobile coupons

The proliferation and convenience of mobile devices has completely changed shopping behaviors and elevated customer expectations.Mobile shopping will continue to grow as 41 percent of consumers in the BRP Consumer Study indicate they plan to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital natives value brick and mortar stores …...
11.07.2019   #consulting #customer satisfaction

"Digital natives" value brick and mortar stores …

… more than their parents or grandparents

Despite clear differences in expectations among shoppers of different generations, almost half of retailers (44 percent) have made no progress in tailoring the in-store shopping experience according to a recent study conducted by Oracle NetSuite, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Overspending is common when shopping online
25.06.2019   #online trading #customer analysis

Overspending is common when shopping online

Report on digital spending and its impact on American's credit card debt

About 2 in 5 (42 percent) of consumers admit blowing their budgets while online shopping in the past 6 months, according to new research from CouponFollow, an online couponing platform. The new report surveyed over 1,700 American consumers on their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty...
12.08.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer retention

Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty

US retailers benefit if they keep pace with rapid rise in customer expectations

New research conducted by alternative payments provider Klarna across 2,000 US consumers and 250 retail decision makers, reveals that retailers are struggling to retain their customers as consumers today increasingly have zero tolerance for a poor ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Choosing the right marketplace for your business: A profitable niche...
17.06.2019   #online trading #marketing research

Choosing the right marketplace for your business: A profitable niche product is key

"Platform strategies are critical for success," says Dr. Kai Hudetz of the IFH Cologne (Institute for Trade Research)

Ebay or Amazon, Zalando or Otto? Retailers have many options when it comes to an online marketplace where they can sell their merchandise. Success for retailers hinges on making good choices.Dr. Kai Hudetz, CEO of the IFH Cologne, gives tips on what ...

Thumbnail-Photo: retail trends 2-2019: focus sales promotion
03.06.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

retail trends 2-2019: focus "sales promotion"

How to win, serve, and keep customers

Read our latest edition retail trends 2-2019 online as an e-paper. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical

Survey about online customer reviews on platforms

Uberall, Inc., a location marketing solution for businesses, released new data on how small- and medium-sized businesses feel about online customer reviews across platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. For the ...

Supplier

POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn