• Classifying residents' roles as online place-ambassadors

      Uchinaka, S.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S (2018)
      Residents are pivotal in the competitiveness of tourism destinations. Yet, their role as place-brand ambassadors needs better understanding, particularly in relation to social media, which directly link visitors to residents through user-generated-content (UGC). This paper explores residents’ roles as place-brand ambassadors on Twitter, using the case of Onomichi (Japan), where decreasing population meets economic dependence on tourism. From a content analysis of residents’ tweets, four distinct roles are identified, and corresponding types of content are mapped on a two-dimensional continuum based on direct vs. indirect word-of-mouth and the level of sentiment. Authors discuss implications for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). Findings highlight the increasingly shifting role of residents towards being primary sources of place-marketing, especially due to social media, and as active proponents (rather than passive targets) of place-branding in the digital age. Such organic place-marketing may be the key to sustaining tourism in the face of rising anti-tourist sentiments worldwide.
    • The Core Value Compass: visually evaluating the goodness of brands that do good

      Yoganathan, Vignesh; McLeay, F.; Osburg, V-S.; Hart, D. (2018)
      Brands that do good for the society as well as for themselves are motivated by the core values they espouse, which necessitates a better understanding of what qualities a true core value must possess. The inherent tension within brands that do good, between commercial interests to increase competitiveness, and societal interests that are closely linked to the brand’s authenticity, has largely been overlooked. Hence, we develop and demonstrate a relatively easy-to-apply visual tool for evaluating core values based on a set of ‘goodness’ criteria derived from extant theory. The Core Value Compass adopts a paradox-based, evolutionary perspective by incorporating the inherent tensions within true core values, and classifying them according to their temporal orientation. Thus, we contribute towards a better understanding of underlying tensions of core values and provide a practical tool that paves the way for improved, and indeed ethical, corporate branding strategies. Furthermore, we demonstrate the Compass’ application using the case of a public sector brand, which is a quintessential brand that does good. Therefore, we also contribute to the nascent theoretical discourse on public sector branding. This paper therefore adds to the notable attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice in core values-based corporate branding.
    • Effects of ethical certification and ethical eWoM on talent attraction

      Osburg, V.S.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Bartikowski, B.; Liu, H.; Strack, M. (2020)
      Whilst previous studies indicate perceived company ethicality as a driver of job seekers’ job-pursuit intentions, it is poorly understood how and why ethical market signals actually affect their application decisions. Perceptions of company ethicality result from market signals that are either within the control of the company (e.g. ethical certifications) and from market signals that are beyond the company’s control (e.g. ethical eWoM). Building on communication and information processing theories, this study therefore considers both types of ethical market signals, and examines the psychological mechanisms through which they affect job seekers’ intention to apply for a job. The results from a controlled online experiment show that both types of ethical market signals increase job seekers’ job-pursuit intentions. These relationships are mediated by applicants’ attitude towards the job advertisement, their perceptions of corporate employment image and self-referencing. Consequently, the present study alerts practitioners to consider the effects of company-controlled and non-company-controlled ethical market signals, particularly when aiming to recruit highly-qualified millennial candidates.
    • How detailed product information strengthens eco-friendly consumption

      Osburg, V.-S.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Brueckner, S.; Toporowski, W. (2019-06-17)
      Whilst many studies consider labelling as means of aggregated communication of environmental product features, the presentation of detailed product information seems a promising alternative. However, the mechanisms through which detailed product information takes effect on consumers requires better understanding. This study empirically develops a framework that focuses on consumers’ perceived usefulness of, and trust in, detailed product information, whilst also considering the role of environmental self-identity. This understanding will help businesses to further stimulate eco-friendly consumption. Structural equation modelling and conditional process analysis are utilised to test hypotheses based on a sample of 279 respondents to a German online survey. Findings: Results show that the perceived usefulness of product information has a positive effect on purchase intention, and this effect is intensified by an individual’s environmental self-identity. Furthermore, for consumers with high environmental self-identity, the effect of perceived usefulness of product information on purchase intention is mediated in turn by trust in detailed product information and resistance to negative information. This study contributes to the debate on the role of product information in ethical consumption by showing how detailed product information gives rise to favourable behavioural outcomes. When detailed information is perceived as being useful, it can affect purchase intention through greater trust and an increased resistance to negative information. Further, detailed product information appears beneficial for both, the mass market and specific segments with high environmental self-identity. Hence, this study empirically establishes the effects of detailed product information on consumer decision-making, thus informing sustainability-related marketing theory and practice.
    • The influence of contrasting values on consumer receptiveness to ethical information and ethical choices

      Osburg, V.; Akhtar, P.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; McLeay, F. (2019-11)
      Ethical consumption is more likely when consumers are receptive to ethical product information and consider such information when making purchasing decisions. Building on communication theory, we develop and test a framework illustrating how different consumer values induce contrasting effects on consumers’ willingness to choose ethical products through affecting consumer receptiveness to ethical product information. We present an online survey with 590 US consumers, which was analyzed with covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM). Results show that altruistic and biospheric consumer values increase consumers’ willingness to choose ethical products via trust in ethical advertising and ethical purchase decision involvement. In contrast, egoistic consumer values reduce ethical purchase decision involvement, and ultimately consumers’ willingness to choose ethical products. Thus, we illustrate the mechanisms through which contrasting values take effect. Results are discussed in light of theoretical and managerial implications and reemphasize the need for better adaptation of ethical marketing to individual consumer characteristics.
    • Machine learning approach to auto-tagging online content for content marketing efficiency: A comparative analysis between methods and content type

      Salminen, J.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Corporan, J.; Jansen, B.J.; Jung, S.-G. (2019-08)
      As complex data becomes the norm, greater understanding of machine learning (ML) applications is needed for content marketers. Unstructured data, scattered across platforms in multiple forms, impedes performance and user experience. Automated classification offers a solution to this. We compare three state-of-the-art ML techniques for multilabel classification - Random Forest, K-Nearest Neighbor, and Neural Network - to automatically tag and classify online news articles. Neural Network performs the best, yielding an F1 Score of 70% and provides satisfactory cross-platform applicability on the same organisation's YouTube content. The developed model can automatically label 99.6% of the unlabelled website and 96.1% of the unlabelled YouTube content. Thus, we contribute to marketing literature via comparative evaluation of ML models for multilabel content classification, and cross-channel validation for a different type of content. Results suggest that organisations may optimise ML to auto-tag content across various platforms, opening avenues for aggregated analyses of content performance.
    • Risks and drivers of hybrid car adoption: A cross-cultural segmentation analysis

      McLeay, F.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S.; Pandit, A. (2018)
      Throughout the developed world, consumers are increasingly being encouraged to adopt cleaner, more eco-friendly behaviours. However, hybrid car adoption remains low, which impedes the move towards a lower carbon economy. In this paper, we examine the risks and drivers of hybrid car purchases, drawing on consumer behaviour and cultural dimensions theory to account for the heterogeneous, segmented nature of the market. As risk perceptions differ across cultures, and in order to address the lack of cross cultural research on eco-friendly cars, we focus on Australian, South Korean, and Japanese consumers. Based on a survey of 817 respondents we examine how five types of risk (social, psychological, time, financial, and network externalities) and three factors that drive purchasing behaviour (product advantages, product attractiveness, and product superiority) influence consumers perceptions of hybrid cars. Four segments of consumers are identified (pessimists, realists, optimists, and casualists) that also vary according to their environmental self-image, and underlying cultural values. Our results extend theory by incorporating self-image and cultural dimension theories into a multi-country analysis of the risks and drivers of hybrid car adoption. Our findings have practical implications in terms of marketing strategies and potential policy interventions aimed at mitigating risk perceptions and promoting the factors that drive hybrid car adoption.
    • Sensory stimulation for sensible consumption: Multisensory marketing for e-tailing of ethical brands

      Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S.; Akhtar, P. (201-03)
      Amidst strong competition and lack of resources and functional superiority, ethical brands may seek an experiential approach to marketing online. A between-subjects online experiment (N=308) shows that ethically congruent visual and auditory cues, and a tactile priming statement, positively influence consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for an ethical brand online. Altruistic and Biospheric value-orientation (ALTBIO) and Need for Touch (NfT) were considered as moderators to account for specific segments. For consumers with high ALTBIO, the effects of visual and auditory cues are mediated by Consumer Perceived Brand Ethicality (CPBE). Tactile priming has a significant effect only for consumers with high NfT. However, the interaction between the three cues has a positive effect on WTP irrespective of CPBE, ALTBIO, and NfT. Findings illustrate multisensory marketing's efficacy in fostering sensible consumption (considerate of natural and societal environments and their inhabitants) online for the mass-market and specific segments by creating an experiential customer judgement-context.