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The 2019 International Conference on National Brand & Private Label Marketing is a unique academic forum for presenting and discussing original, rigorous and significant contributions from researchers around the world on marketing issues that retailers, store brand managers and national brand managers are facing.

The three-day event covered a wide range of topics from varied fields including retailing, marketing, general business, psychology, economics and statistics. Further, it addressed diverse areas of application such as innovation, retail market structure, social media, consumer decision-making, store loyalty, assortment size, digital transformation, ethical aspects, cultural dimensions, and private label pricing.

This volume gathers the proceedings of the 2019 NB&PL marketing conference in a collection of outstanding contributions that employ a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches.



Strategic Issues and Theoretical Research


The Impact of Age on the Relationship Between Assortment Size and Perceived Value

The rapid growth of digital marketplaces such as Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play has increased the need for insights on how consumers react to large assortments. Many of these platforms aggregate large assortments under the assumption that customers assign more value to products chosen from a large assortment. Yet, academic literature on the topic remains controversial. Although some moderating factors have been examined in previous research, knowledge about the influence of individual differences remains limited. This study offers further insights into the moderating role of age that leads to diverse assortment size preferences. Particularly, we conduct an online experiment in online donations where participants make actual donations to charities that they choose from either large or small assortments. Our study affirms that older customers assign more value on options chosen from platforms with relatively larger assortments. Hence, this study contributes to the choice overload literature regarding perceived value by considering age. Managers of digital platforms can use the presented findings to match assortment with customer age.
Thuy Pham, Frank Mathmann

Impact of Category-Specific Demand Environment on Store Brand Quality Positioning: Empirical Evidence

Motivated by the growth of store brands and the widespread practice of offering a line of multiple store brands at different quality positions within a product category, Chung and Lee (2017) analyze a game theoretic model and discover the impact of the category-specific demand environment on the retailer’s optimal design of store brand product lines. In particular, their analysis shows that the optimal quality positioning of store brands against established national brands is remarkably sensitive to the distribution of consumers’ willingness-to-pay for quality. If the category has a sufficiently large proportion of consumers showing low willingness-to-pay for quality, the retailer should, they conclude, leave the top tier national brand at the highest quality alternative in the category, and position one store brand between the national brands, while offering the other store brand at the lowest point in price and quality within the category, following the “NB1 (top tier national brand) > SB1 (top tier store brand) > NB2 (low tier national brand) > SB2 (low tier store brand)” interlaced pattern. For the opposite situation of a large proportion of consumers exhibiting high degrees of quality sensitivity, their analysis recommends a different strategy following the “NB1 > SB1 > SB2 > NB2” pattern. On the other hand, if the distribution has the majority of the consumers concentrated around medium degrees of willingness-to-pay for quality, their analysis prescribes a high-tier store brand to be positioned at the top quality item in the category, resulting in the “SB1 > NB1 > SB2 > NB2” pattern.
Hwan Chung, Eunkyu Lee

The Interplay Between Manufacturer Brands and Private Labels: Radical Innovation in Consumer Packaged Goods in Spain

As manufacturers face a decreasing channel power, radical innovation in Consumer Packaged Goods represents for them both a risky activity and a necessity. At the same time, retailers keep investing in developing Private Label products. This paper aims to understand the role played by manufacturers and retailers in radical innovations in the CPG industry. Two datasets by Kantar Worldpanel are analysed, including all radical innovations launched in Spain between 2012 and 2016 across the 31 most innovative categories. Results indicate that Manufacturer Brands play a leading role in radical innovation, despite the difficulties they face in achieving distribution and the challenge of Private Label “me-toos”. Furthermore, in most categories with a high number of innovations the growth of PL market share slows down. The paper suggests that manufacturers need to keep innovating in order to hinder the development of private labels and to preserve their position in the channel.
Belén Derqui, Nicoletta Occhiocupo

Assortment and Retailing: A Trendy Couple

Assortment is a relevant issue in retail management which has gained prominence in the last few years in many retail sectors. The purpose of this research is to show the state of the art on this subject by means of a bibliometric analysis carried out using the Web of Science online database. Our findings show the most influential countries, annual evolution, the most influential journals and authors, citations, the main areas of knowledge in which the articles are framed, and the most relevant entities supporting research on these topics. By using a fractional counting method to analyze co-occurrence of the author’s keywords, this paper identifies ten clusters and the most frequent terms. This work represents a contribution by identifying the main trends in assortment in retailing research, and proposes future research, such as: grocery retailing, omni-channel, retail internationalization, market power, competitiveness, consumer search, or stochastic demand.
José Luis Ruiz-Real, Juan Uribe-Toril, Juan Carlos Gázquez-Abad

Measuring the Experiential Marketing Orientation Management of Shopping Centres

The purpose of this article is to provide a robust and consistent measurement of experiential marketing orientation management. Drawing on existing studies on market orientation, customer experience management and experiential marketing, our work extends the literature by validating a pioneer scale that measures experiential marketing orientation in a holistic manner. Survey data were collected from 171 managers of Spanish shopping centres and retailers. Structural equation modelling confirms the influence of this scale on performance. Our model helps to improve retailers’ competitive advantage and its ability to achieve results that meet or exceed its goals.
Mónica Gómez-Suárez, María Jesús Yagüe, Cristina García-Gumiel

Phase Transitions in Retailing: Modeling Retail Fashion Tipping Points as Complex Systems

Tipping points occur in many natural and socio-economic systems, and may have serious implications when they occur. Changes in retail market structure and the development of new markets, we argue, can also be studied from the perspective of complex systems using insights from biology and physics. In this review, we discuss the theory of tipping points, or more accurately, phase transitions and how they may be identified and predicted both mathematically and by pattern recognition
Steven D’Alessandro, Morgan Miles, Terry Bossomaier

Changing of the Retail Landscape: Who Supports Your Customers Matters

The increasing trend of replacing front-line employees with self-service kiosks or automated systems has undoubtedly altered the nature of retail landscape. In these settings, the limited presence of front-line employees has increased customers’ opportunity to interact with fellow customers during retail encounters.
Ting Hin Ho, Dewi Tojib, Yelena Tsarenko

Shopping Online Experience: A Theoretical Model Proposal

Empirical studies that focus on the drivers that affect consumer behaviour in online shopping can be found, but a real opportunity still exists to explore the factors that impact on the online shopping experience from a holistic perspective. This global approach considers how individuals process stimuli when exposed to complex and multidimensional environments; this will help improve the understanding of this phenomenon. The objectives of this paper are to propose a new theoretical model of shopping online experience which aims to explain consumer behaviour in the e-commerce context and to identify its main antecedents, mediators and potential consequences, in line with the SOR model (Stimuli-Organism-Response).
Elisa López Moreno, Nuria Recuero Virto, Maria Francisca Blasco López

Investigating Private Labels’ Success Against National Brands in the Men’s Razor Category

This paper will focus on the private labels and national brands that make up the men’s razor category within the shaving industry. Factors that affect both the success of private label brands and create roadblocks for them will be assessed and applied to CVS’s private label brand Blade by incorporating Hoch and Banerji’s study on private label brands’ success with Varadarajan, DeFanti and Busch’s research regarding the strength of brand portfolios. Blade will be compared to national razor brands that it competes against in CVS stores, with a specific compare and contrast to Schick, its direct competitor. This analysis has a particular focus on the United States razor market due to the dearth of drugstore chains in Europe that offer private label brands. This paper investigates how a private label brand in a large category can gain greater market share and effectively compete with the popular national brands.
Briana Alberti, Mark DeFanti

Consumer Behaviour


Do We Build Store Loyalty Through Store Brands or Store Brands Through Store Loyalty?

Store Brands (SBs) are increasingly present in Western retail stores. They are used to define the positioning, loyalty and trust strategies. The retail literature has essentially developed models showing the effect of trust in a store and its impact on behavioral loyalty to SBs. In contrast, few studies have conceptualized the effect of SBs loyalty and its impact on trust in a store. The purpose of this research is to develop a conceptual model that considers, on one hand, behavioral loyalty to the SBs as a mediating variable between its antecedents (perceived quality, sensitive price and brand sensitive) and trust towards store, on the other hand, SB’s strategy as a moderating variable between loyalty to SBs and trust in the store.
Samy Belaid, Azza Temessek Behi, Dorsaf Fehri Belaid, Jérome Lacoeuilhe

Silver Shoppers’ Attitude Towards Store Brands: Will-They-Won’t-They?

Silver shoppers represent a growing share in Western populations with many important consequences on welfare as well as on marketing policies. The present work aims at a fresh perspective on the over-65 cohort grocery shopping behavior by examining its drivers of main store choice and its attitude towards Store Brands (SBs). By means of a field survey on 420 Italian shoppers, we found that, unlike millennials, seniors prefer proximity stores with parking facilities and good store staff assistance; they do not appreciate SBs at all, so that their Store Loyalty is only partially influenced by the same. Results carry several implications for both academics and practitioners.
Edoardo Fornari, Francesca Negri, Sebastiano Grandi, Daniele Fornari

Consumers’ Reactions to Price Imitations by Private Labels with Sub-branding Strategy

The influence of price similarity and dissimilarity between a private label (using a sub-brand strategy) and a national brand on consumers’ judgments of the private label’s quality and purchase intention is studied using a controlled experiment with a sample of 238 respondents. The results of this study are rather interesting in the sense that price imitation of a national brand by a private label enhances the buyers’ perception about the private label’s product quality. Inversely, price dissimilarity (higher price differences, wherein the private labels are cheaper than national brands) to a national brand enhances the purchase intention of private labels. The results are significant for two products in the consumer packaged goods category (biscuits and potato chips). Consumers’ reactions would help private label retailers arbitrate and adopt optimum price difference between national brands and private labels.
Siddhartha Sarkar, Arti D. Kalro, Dinesh Sharma

Comparison of Consumer Involvement Across PLB Categories in Retail Food

Food retail categories are considered to be have low involvement and have few publications. The aims of this research are to explore the level of involvement of different categories in the food industry and to discover how this involvement affects private label share in each category. A new scale of involvement was constructed using six sources of involvement. The data set includes a consumer survey of 1652 shoppers in conjunction with data mining from sales of food chain retailers. The results showed that when using the proposed scale, a large difference exists in the level of involvement between categories, there are significant differences in the effect of the source on each category, and consumers show a large range of importance that they attach to each source and category. The level of involvement is negatively correlated to its standard deviation. Regression analysis suggests that the level of involvement influences negatively the share of private label brands in the category (percentage of category sales) and the relative number of PLB buyers in the category. These results can aid the retail merchant in introducing new PLB categories.
Hanna Gendel-Guterman

Influencing Shopping Engagement Across Channels: The Role of Store Environment

The paper aims at investigating the role of store environment in engaging shoppers during their grocery buying process across multiple channels. Specifically, the study investigates the shopper’s buying behavior in three channels, namely: physical, electronic and mobile. The main object of the paper is to spot the light on how the store environment (ENV) generates shopping engagement (ENG) by the means of shopping enjoyment (ENJ) and time convenience (CON). A survey on a sample of 935 grocery shoppers was performed administering a structured questionnaire. Each channel was empirically investigated applying a Structural Equation Model (SEM). Results show that the mobile store-app environment does not suit consumers’ need for shopping convenience, limiting the expansion of the mobile grocery channel in comparison with the electronic and the physical channels. Some preliminary theoretical and managerial implications are derived comparing the results of the three SEMs.
Francesca De Canio, Elisa Martinelli, Davide Pellegrini, Giuseppe Nardin

The Impact of Consumer Self-regulation in Grocery Shopping on Subsequent Consumption of Healthy and Unhealthy Food

The purpose of the present paper is to investigate if there is any effect between the depletion of self-regulatory resources during the product selection when shopping for groceries and subsequent food consumption. More precisely, we propose that consumers who have to self-regulate in purchasing decisions because of their desire to keep their basket balanced with unhealthy and healthy food deplete their self-regulatory resources and that this will lead to an increase of the amount of subsequent consumed food. The findings of two laboratory experiments indicate that the amount of consumed food increases due to the depletion of self-regulatory resources and that this effect is moderated by the attitude towards healthy eating. If consumers were offered healthy food in addition to the unhealthy food for subsequent consumption, consumers were more likely to chose the healthy option after self-regulation.
Sascha Steinmann, Amelie Winters, Gunnar Mau, Hanna Schramm-Klein

Augmented Empathic Capacity: An Integrative Framework for Supporting Customer Engagement Throughout the Automated Customer Journey

The rise of automated touch points (ATPs) upsets firm-customer interactions, and its net effect on customer engagement (CE) is under scrutiny. We posit that ATPs negatively affect CE by degrading a firm’s empathic capacity. First, ATPs impair human interactions, which decreases the ability to share customers’ affective and mental states. Then, ATPs rely on computer-based solutions, which increases the ability to decode customers’ affective and mental states. However, decoding without sharing affective and mental states can lead to egocentric behaviors, which are reminiscent of those of a psychopath. This threat highlights the importance of redefining the boundaries of empathy. Accordingly, we introduce a new integrative framework: the augmented empathic capacity. It describes two routes that stem from the two main components of empathy: the socio-affective route and the socio-cognitive route. The socio-affective route relies on two emotional connection systems (bottom-up system, top-down system), and aims at sharing customers’ affective and mental states. The socio-cognitive route relies on two emotional appraisal systems (covert system, overt system), and aims at mentalizing customers’ affective and mental states. The joint evaluation of both routes enables to deploy an empathic chain value—the roadmap for promoting prosocial interactivity and CE throughout the automated customer journey.
Mathieu Lajante

Multivariate Analysis of Consumer Preference Structures Across Multiple Categories

That consumers’ purchase behavior varies across categories is being documented actively by the marketing science community. The variation in such behavior can be attributed to the heterogeneity in consumer preferences across categories as well as the nature of categories (e.g., perishable goods). In this research, we implement a multivariate probit model specification that helps deduce how the nature of a category influences a consumer’s preference structure not only for that category but across multiple categories. We use scanner panel data across multiple categories to calibrate the model. Over and above critically evaluating the results from this model, we derive marketing metrics using customer survey data from the same panel of customers. We then deduce the (i) effectiveness of a retailer’s pricing and promotional policies, and (ii) suggest directions for improving customer relationship management. Given the complex nature of the modeling approach, we use Hierarchical Bayesian methods (MCMC) to obtain model parameters.
Sri Devi Duvvuri

Online Context and Digital Transformation


Building Trust in Private Label (PL) Online: Qualitative Insights from Home Retail Practitioners

Consumer trust represents a key driver in PLs and online shopping. Despite the extensive research on this concept, a gap still exists in the literature due to an emergent retail practice i.e. the online trade of high-involvement PLs (e.g. home fixtures). Some questions have risen and require answers to update our knowledge of consumer trust and to better understand this emergent retail practice. They are: what does consumer trust signify in this retail practice? What can the meaningful drivers be? Are the drivers related to customer experience? Based on in-depth interviews with practitioners in the home retail sector, we suggest two conventional and one new facets underpinning consumer trust. They are ability, integrity and authenticity. We also identify and suggest experiential drivers (e.g. education, effortless and enjoyment) are as important as functional drivers in building consumer trust in this emergent retail practice. We contribute to theory by bridging the two literature of PLs and online shopping, and contribute to practice by offering insights into marketing and managing an online business that trades high-involvement PLs.
Kokho (Jason) Sit, Andreia Daemon De Miranda Gonçalves, Giovanni Pino, Juliet Memery

The Seller’s Experience in Consumer-to-Consumer E-Commerce

Digitization has reshaped the retail landscape and changed the way that consumers buy, use, and dispose of products. One such development is the rise of consumer-to-consumer electronic commerce (C2C e-commerce) platforms. These platforms complement and compete with existing forms of retail, which is why studying the characteristics of customer experience in these platforms is both managerially and academically interesting and topical. The purpose of this study is to explore and analyse the selling experience on C2C e-commerce platforms. More specifically, the paper (1) identifies the phases that make up the selling experience as a process and (2) characterizes and analyses these experiences. A qualitative research approach is used to generate these insights. This study contributes by focusing on the seller’s perspective and investigating it from the experiential perspective, which has remained relatively overlooked in prior research. Nonetheless, the seller’s experience is vital, as it is the supply of used goods that determines whether C2C markets can be established in the first place.
Mika Yrjölä, Hannu Saarijärvi

Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in the Hotel Industry: Which Opportunities and Threats for Sensory Marketing?

The purpose of this study is to investigate which opportunities and threats the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) may have in relation to the multisensory brand experiences of guests in 4- and 5- star hotels. The reason is that digital experiences have become an important issue in the hotel industry. At the same time, an increasing number of high-end hotels have developed sophisticated multisensory strategies to generate multisensory brand experiences of their guests during their stay. To answer our research question, we carried out two studies, i.e. interviews and an internet survey. Our findings show that both hotel managers and guests seem to believe that the application of IoTs may stimulate guests’ sensory experiences and increase their satisfaction and loyalty. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that the different digital tools available on the market need to be carefully analyzed (e.g. SWOT) in view of their potential impact on customers’ sensory experiences prior to their implementation. Limitations and avenues for further research are given.
Jean-Eric Pelet, Erhard Lick, Basma Taieb

The Advent of the Voice Moment of Truth: The Case of Amazon’s Alexa

Interactive Voice Assistants (IVAs), such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, are increasingly being integrated into consumers’ daily lives. Indeed, IVAs are unfolding new opportunities for retailers to capitalize on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and generate incremental value. This is affecting the consumer purchasing cycle through the advent of what this study coins as the Voice Moment of Truth (VMOT). This paper introduces a conceptual framework discussing this new moment of truth, which is expected to alter shoppers’ behavior, as well as brands’ and retailers’ strategies. The VMOT is presented to be segmented into five key components: activation, conversation, perception formation, duration, and relationship formation. In addition, the introduction of the VMOT sets forth a new relation between shoppers, brands and online retailers that is crucial for its success.
This new voice-based moment of truth introduces new challenges that are yet to be defined or analyzed by any pre-existing literature. The importance of defining the interaction between these IVA devices and users is key to understand the implications that these interactions will have on shoppers.
Zahy Ramadan, Maya Farah, Hadi Audi

Buying from Online Supermarkets: The Main Factors Influencing the Experience of Flow, Purchase Intent and E-loyalty

This paper aims to clarify and characterize the role of flow in online supermarkets. To this end, an integral model of flow in online supermarkets is proposed and tested. The empirical part of the research was based on both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The former consisted of five in-depth interviews carried out with experts in online supermarkets. The latter consisted of an online survey resulting in a sample of 651 valid questionnaires. The theoretical model was tested and validated using the standard methodological procedure based on exploratory and confirmatory analyses. The results indicate that concentration and personalisation are the main direct antecedents of flow. Other factors such the perception of product assortment (a new variable not considered in previous flow studies) reveals that having a wide range of products in online supermarkets has a negative impact upon consumers’ positive emotions during the activity, and therefore impedes the flow experience. Furthermore, two direct positive consequences of the flow experience are proved: purchase intent and e-loyalty. In sum, it can be concluded that businesses are better off providing users with supermarkets webs conducive to getting them into a flow state.
Doris Morales-Solana, Alejandro Alegret Cotas, Irene Esteban-Millat

How to (Not) Survive a Social Media Firestorm: The Dolce & Gabbana’s Ad Debacle in China

The objective of this study is to explore the complex phenomenon of “social media firestorms”, because such crises can substantially affect brand reputation and the financial performance of the company owning the brand. Analysing the case of Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), we tested some extant theories concerning the antecedents of such form of collaborative brand attacks. Furthermore, focusing on brand management strategies in response to consumer attacks, we found out what brands should do, or not do, to survive a social media crisis.
Mario D’Arco, Vittoria Marino, Riccardo Resciniti

Identifying Critical Determinants of ‘Digital Customer Services’ Usage – An Exploratory Study

Digital technology has reinvented retail business as well as commerce. This study aims to examine consumers’ perception and usage of digital customer services (DCS) and investigate three significant post-adoption and marketing consequences: simplicity, awareness, and usefulness. Using a purposeful sampling technique, 10 semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with banking customers in Finland in January 2019. The research findings suggest that simplicity regarding DCS occupies a key position in their prolonged use, while awareness and usability are also important. This study offers some valuable theoretical and managerial implications and suggests an agenda for future research.
Aijaz A. Shaikh

Understanding the Influence of Brand Information in Online Purchase Decisions for Health Products

In 2016, over 6% of all retail spending at health and personal care firms was done through an electronic medium. Purchasing health products online provides an interesting challenge to consumers, as not only do consumers often have limited knowledge about which health goods that will best suit their needs (as these tend to be experience goods bought infrequently), but they also face the additional challenge of having to discern the quality of a good only based on its online listing. Hence in this context, a signal, such as the brand information of a good, may be useful in identifying its quality. Additionally, given that online purchasing decisions occur in private, we can rule out some other explanations for consumers choosing branded products, such as reputational concerns. Using data from a health goods retailer operating through Amazon.​com from 2013 and 2014, we test whether brand information in the product’s listing influences the demand for health-related goods. We find that having branded information displayed in the product’s listing photo significantly increases the probability consumers consider a health good in their choice set (measured as page views) but not the demand for the goods, except for the case of bandages and dressings.
Carly Trachtman, Molly Van Dop, Sofia Villas-Boas


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