Laurel Aynne Cook
Laurel Aynne Cook (Ph.D., University of Arkansas) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at West Virginia University. Her research has recently been published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the Journal of Consumer Affairs, and in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. As most of her research concerns a number of social issues, she is interested in identifying substantive issues that concern consumer and firm behavior. Guided by her professional experience with a Fortune 500 company and her doctoral training, Dr. Cook uses a variety of approaches to address the following three primary streams of research: (1) collaborative product development; (2) consumer well-being; and (3) corporate social responsibility. She has presented her work at 17 refereed national conferences. Additionally, her teaching experience includes buyer behavior, marketing research, strategy, and principles.
Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Dr. Cook worked for 6-1/2 years as a brand manager with Black & Decker. She worked specifically with the Porter-Cable and Delta Machinery brands, and was heavily involved in coordinating product launches and national marketing campaigns. Her experience with Black & Decker garnered a unique manufacturing perspective and global exposure to many industries.
Burton, Scot, Laurel Aynne Cook, Elizabeth Howlett, and Christopher Newman (2015), “Broken Halos and Shattered Horns: Overcoming the Biasing Effects of Prior Expectations through Objective Information Disclosure,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43 (2), 240-56.
Stanton, Julie V, and Laurel Aynne Cook (2015), “The Credibility of ‘Locally Grown’ Community-Supported Agriculture: Priorities and Perspectives of Consumers,” Mark Lang and John Stanton (Ed.), Institute of Food Products Marketing.
Cook, Laurel Aynne, Scot Burton, and Elizabeth Howlett (2013), “Leaner Choices? The Potential Influence of the Inclusion of Nutrition Facts Panels on Consumer Evaluations and Choices of Ground Beef Products,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 32 (1), 97-115.
Cook, Laurel Aynne, Scot Burton, and Elizabeth Howlett (2011), “Health Risk Factors and Their Effect on Consumers’ Use of Nutrition Facts Panels,” Journal of Consumer Affairs, 45 (Fall), 516–27.
Health and Financial Well-Being. Healthful food consumption and improved financial decision-making are the primary motivations in this first group of projects. For example, many consumers have a general distrust of product claims. For producers, not making a clear and convincing case for environmental, animal or human welfare benefits could mean failure in the marketplace. For policymakers, initiatives such as the USDA’s National Organic Program could be at risk. In each case, any eco- or societal-benefit goals desired by firms, consumers and policymakers could be harder to obtain. In response, our (with colleague Dr. Julie Stanton at Penn State) ‘Alternative Foods’ studies explore the nature of the marketing strategies used by the alternative food market. The elements and strategies that help create trust (or distrust) in the product and company are explored and tested using a mixed-method approach. To understand and promote financial well-being, we (with PhD student Raika Sadeghein at West Virginia University) test how dimensions of financial scarcity vary in their effect on consumers’ borrowing and cost estimations. Although research investigating the underlying psychological mechanisms in over-borrowing is limited, our experimental studies provide evidence that consumers make objectively better decisions when their perceptions of financial scarcity are reduced. Across these studies, results illustrate changes in the ‘triple scarcity effect’ that have important implications for consumers. Moreover, improvements in financial decision-making are most notable for consumers who are especially vulnerable to situational changes (e.g., those who utilize payday loans).
Consumer Collaboration and Competition. Several projects explore and experimentally test factors that favorably and/or counterintuitively affect outcomes after businesses work with consumers to create and market products. In one collection of studies, we (with colleagues Dr. Jacob Hiler at Ohio University and Dr. William Northington at Idaho State University) find that competition between subcultures (i.e., during collaboration) provides an environment that precludes the ability to satisfy all groups. This research is situated within the paradigm that views consumers with varying individual abilities and tendencies to co-create. Consistent with this paradigm, we suggest that competition between consumers in an effort to create shared value for the firm may yield unfavorable outcomes. Alternatively, another collection of studies demonstrates how collaboration that is implemented in each stage of the product development process affects consumers’ cognitive and behavioral responses. Findings (with colleague Dr. Ronn Smith at the University of Arkansas) indicate that collaboration outcomes differ as a function of consumers’ involvement with the product. Additionally, collaborator-specific (e.g., collaboration motivation) and firm-specific (e.g., brand trust) differences show that, while each form of collaboration along the development timeline may be objectively similar, consumers’ subjective interpretation of each stage varies significantly in favor of collaboration that occurs earlier in the NPD process (e.g., idea generation).
Effort and Perceptions of Fairness. Cognitive outcomes (e.g., trust in the company, fairness and price perceptions) and behavioral outcomes (e.g., propensity to switch firms and intentions to “troll,” i.e., anonymous comments online regarding the firm) are important in the everyday operation of companies seeking to enhance profitability via long-term relationships. As a result, we (with colleagues Dr. Paula Fitzgerald and Raika Sadeghein at West Virginia University) explore how skepticism (a context-specific belief or attribution that an actor is motivated by its own self-interest; Mohr, Eroglu and Ellen 1998) moderates a variety of consumer responses. Specifically, we predict that the greater the perceived effort imposed by a firm to maintain the status quo, the more negative the consumer responds to the firm’s requirements. This effect is more pronounced when consumers are skeptical of the firm’s motivations. Finally, we suggest that the reason for the negative impact of high effort is that consumers have less trust in the firm.
Social Responsibility. Using corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives as a measure of strengthening the brand is a recent and under-explored development in marketing strategy. In response, this project (with colleagues Dr. Ronn Smith at the University of Arkansas and Dr. Yao Jin at Miami University) examines the impact of social responsibility initiatives from a consumer behavior perspective, testing the tenets of the Elaboration Likelihood Model with Unconscious Thought Theory (Dijksterhuis & Nordgren 2006) and providing insight into how a business’s socially responsible activities may (or may not) be effectively communicated to enhance a brand for which consumers are willing to pay more. We uncover an interesting pattern of effects for groups assigned to a variety of high and low overall and human rights-specific CSR performance scores. The results augment extant literature by highlighting perceived brand equity as the causal path for CSR benefits to the firm. Additional studies extend these results to another industry while specifically testing how consumers process CSR information. Potential implications of our findings are offered for manufacturers, policy makers, and consumers.
Jody L. Crosno
Jody L. Crosno (Ph.D., University of Kentucky) is an Associate Professor of Marketing at West Virginia University. Her primary research focuses on the development and management of inter-firm relationships in marketing channels. Her research draws on multiple theories and perspectives to gain a better understanding of how to maximize efficiency in channel relationships, how to manage opportunistic behaviors (e.g., shirking, withholding information) and suspicions of such behavior, and how to balance risk and reward through governance structures. Her research has been published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, Journal of Marketing Channels, Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Letters, among others. Dr. Crosno serves on the Editorial Review Board of Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing.
Tong, Pui Ying and Jody L. Crosno, “A Meta-analytic Review of Information Asymmetry and Sharing,” forthcoming at Industrial Marketing Management.
Brown, James R. Scott Weaven, Rajiv Dant and Jody L. Crosno, “Boosting the Effectiveness of Channel Governance Options: The Moderating Role of Relational Norms,” forthcoming at European Journal of Marketing.
Crosno, Jody L. and Robert Dahlstrom, “An Empirical Investigation of Bilateral Investments and Opportunism in Buyer-Supplier Relationships,” forthcoming at Journal of Marketing Channels.
Crosno, Jody L. and James R. Brown, (2015), “A Meta-Analytic Review of Organizational Control in Exchange Relationships,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43 (3), 297-314.
Crosno, Jody L., Robert Dahlstrom, and Chris Manolis, (2015), “Comply or Defy? An Empirical Investigation of Change Requests in Buyer-Supplier Relationships,” Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 30 (5), 688-699.
Crosno, Jody L. and Annie Peng Cui, (2014), “A Multilevel Analysis of the Adoption of Sustainable Technology,” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 22 (2), 209-224.
Crosno, Jody L., Chris Manolis and Robert Dahlstrom (2013), “Toward Understanding Passive Opportunism in Dedicated Channel Relationships,” Marketing Letters, 24 (4), 353-368.
Crosno, Jody L. and Robert Dahlstrom (2011), “Fairness Heuristics and the Fundamental Transformation in Interorganizational Relationships,” Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 18, 313-334.
Ongoing Research Projects
The Dark Side of Exchange Relationships. Previous research has demonstrated that perceptions of opportunism may have a more detrimental effect on exchange relationships than the actual behavior (e.g., lying, cutting corners, withholding effort, etc.). I am working on research that examines channel characteristics that influence perceptions of opportunism in exchange relationships. One project in particular examines factors that increase correspondence bias of buyers, and how this bias influences perceptions of supplier opportunism.
Sustainability in Marketing Channels. Firms are facing mounting pressure to engage in sustainable practices. Yet research to date has not examined how the sustainable practices of one firm affect other firms in the supply chain. This research project integrates different theoretical perspectives to gain a better understanding of the factors that inhibit and the factors that facilitate the adoptions of such practices in supply chains. This is one of a couple sustainability projects in which I am working with Professor Annie Cui. Another project we are working on examines pricing strategies and their influence on consumer decision making related to new versus used products.
Managing Brand Equity in Marketing Channels. Many firms outsource their manufacturing to third party manufacturers. Some of these firms have lost consumer confidence when their branded products, which were manufactured by third parties, failed safety inspections. These recent product safety failures underscore the importance of firms protecting their brands (i.e., their brand equity) in supply chain relationships. Similarly, franchise organizations are dependent on the actions of their franchisees to protect the franchise brand. This research project, in which I am working with Professor Jim Brown, examines the effectiveness of various governance mechanisms in protecting brand equity in supply chain relationships.
Peng 'Annie' Cui
Annie Peng Cui (Ph.D., Kent State University) is an Associate Professor of Marketing at West Virginia University. Her research interests include international marketing, brand management, and pricing. She has published papers in Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, among others. She holds an M.A. in Media Management and Ph.D. in Marketing from Kent State University. She currently serves as the Chair for AMA’s Global Marketing SIG.
Cui, Annie Peng, Michael Walsh, and Shaoming Zou (2014), “Importance of Strategic Fit between Host-Home Country Similarity and Exploration Exploitation Strategies on SMEs’ Performance: A Contingency Perspective,” Journal of International Marketing, 22(4), 67-85.
Crosno, Jody and Annie Peng Cui (2014), “A Multi-level Analysis of the Adoption of sustainable Technology,” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 22(2), 209-224.
Cui, Annie Peng, Michael Hu, and David Griffith (2014), “What Makes a Brand Manager Effective?” Journal of Business Research, 67(2), 144-150.
Johnson, Jennifer Wiggins and Annie Peng Cui (2013), “To Influence or Not to Influence: External Reference Price Strategies in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing” Journal of Business Research, 66(2), 275-281.
Ongoing Research Projects
SME’s International Marketing Capability: This project examines how SMEs develop and deploy their international marketing capability with relatively constrained resources. We propose that SMEs should align their international marketing capability with their foreign country entry strategies. Working with Dr. Walsh, we are examining this intriguing research question that contributes to our knowledge of SMEs’ globalization.
Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Message Framing: How information is presented has a significant impact on consumers’ perception and evaluation of prices. In Pay-What-You-Want pricing, a message can be presented as pay-what-you-want, pay-what-you-can and pay-what-you-think-it’s-Worth. This message framing influences consumers’ chosen price for the same product/service. Through a series of experiments, we examine how consumers respond to these different pricing frames.
Pricing Format in Sustainable Marketing: More and more consumers are purchasing used products as a way to be environmental friendly. However, the pricing format of used products remains an under-studied area in the marketing literature. Working with Dr. Crosno, we study how presenting the price for used products as partitioned pricing vs. all-inclusive pricing changes consumers’ evaluation of the fairness of the price and their purchase intentions of the used products.
Paula Fitzgerald (Bone)
M. Paula Fitzgerald (PhD University of South Carolina) is the Nathan Haddad
Professor of Business Administration at West Virginia University. Her research
focuses on consumer access and power within the marketplace, with a special emphasis
on the healthcare industry. Her research appears in
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing,
Journal of Business Ethics and
Journal of Consumer Affairs.
Dr. Fitzgerald is currently editing two special issues of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, one of which focuses on consumer access and power within the marketplace and the other is devoted to expanding research on public policy and the pharmaceutical industry. She serves on the editorial review board for both Journal of Public Policy & Marketing and Journal of Consumer Affairs .
Kees, Jeremy, Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Dorsey, Joshua and Hill, Ronald Paul (in press). Evidence-Based Cannabis Policy: A Framework to Guide Marketing and Public Policy Research. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.
Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Langenderfer, Jeff, Fitzgerald and Megan Lynn (in press). Is it Ethical for For-profit Firms to Practice a Religion? A Rawlsian Thought Experiment. Journal of Business Ethics.
Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Yencha, Christopher (2019). A Test of Policymakers' Formal and Lay Theory Regarding Healthcare Prices. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. 38 (1), 3-18 (lead article).
Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Donovan, Karen Russo (2018). Consumer Responses to For-Profit Firms Exercising Religious Freedom in the Marketplace. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 37(1), 39-50.
Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Kees, Jeremy, Kozup, John, Donovan, Karen Russo (in press). An Examination of How Confusion Impacts Consumer Perceptions in a Product Labeling Experiment. Journal of Consumer Marketing.
Ongoing Research Projects
The Fallacy of the “Well Informed” Pharmaceutical Consumer: Trust, Susceptibility to Over-Trust and the Maverick Effect (with Matthew Sarkees and Farnoush Rashadi). This paper examines the dark side of trust within the context of off-label prescribing behavior. We find that consumers tend to over-trust healthcare providers even when the provider prescribes a pharmaceutical product that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that particular application and there is little evidence of the drug’s effectiveness.
Impact of Political Shocks and Homelessness on Consumer Activism (with Emily Tanner and Elizabeth Gratz). We look at how consumers react to political shocks and when they find themselves “homeless” and out-of-sync with their political party. We use the context of the 2018 US elections and the confirmation processes for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
An Exploration of Perceived Consumer Effort (with Laurel Aynne Cook and Raika Sadeghein)
We reconceptualize perceived consumer effort as a formative construct consisting of mental, physical and emotional effort. We introduce two previously unexplored aspect of perceived effort, the amount of emotional posing and the voluntariness of a particular choice, finding that both significantly affect consumer effort perceptions. Using a self-service technology context, we conclude that the more effort the consumer perceives, the less value s/he receives from the service encounter.
Professor Stephen He received his Ph.D. in marketing from the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. As a marketing professor and researcher, Professor He is interested in how consumers process information and make decisions in digital marketplaces. His research examines the dynamics among word of mouth, social media, and the consumer decision journey. These works have been published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Research, and featured on Science Daily.
The implication of Professor He's research allows marketers to better promote their brands, products and services and also improves the quality of consumer decisions. His work has been sponsored by the Marketing Science Institute, the Sloan Foundation funded Research Program on the Economics of Knowledge Contribution and Distribution and the Society for Consumer Psychology.
Bond, Samuel D, Stephen X. He, and Wen Wen (2019), “Speaking for “Free”: Word of Mouth in Free- and Paid- Product Settings,” Journal of Marketing Research, 56(2), 276–290.
He, Stephen X. and Samuel D. Bond (2015), "Why is the Crowd Divided? Attribution for Dispersion in Online Word of Mouth," Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (6), 1509-27.
He, Stephen X. and Samuel D. Bond (2013), "Word of Mouth and the Forecasting of Consumption Enjoyment," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23 (4), 464-82.
Ongoing Research Projects
I am working on several projects that examine different visual aspects of the customer decision journey. In ongoing work, we explore how visual representation of distributions affects consumer judgments of risk. Using real-world book reviews for thousands of Amazon titles, we demonstrate behavioral anomaly driven by the shape of review distributions.
Besides the use of product reviews, consumers also acquire a lot of knowledge through infographics (e.g., market share of different brands and models). Another project of mine investigates the influence of market share information on consumers’ perception of product quality. In a series of controlled experiments, we show that the perceived difference between products is greater for people who adopt mass-market products than for those who adopt niche products, an effect amplified under high levels of consensus.
The design and visual representation of websites / store fronts have always been a crucial part of marketing, and we have seen both public and private sectors jumping onto the cuteness-marketing bandwagon over the past decade. Despite the growing usage of cute stimuli in design and marketing, scholarly research of cuteness remains scarce in the marketing field. In one research project, we investigate how consumers perceive cute stimuli and how such perception affects decision making. This research aims to shed light on the underlying mechanisms of cuteness related effects, and help marketers decide whether and when to use cute stimuli, use cute stimuli more effectively, and avoid potential repercussions.
When making purchase decisions, consumers frequently heed to the choice of others. A large number of studies suggest that similar others are more persuasive than dissimilar others while more recent investigation found that the opposite might also occur. In a project investigating the identity threat factor, we seek to develop a comprehensive framework that consolidates these mixed findings, explain why dissimilar others can also be persuasive, and predict when anomalies arise. Our research is timely for today’s society, which is affected by growing level of globalization and identity politics. Since people are increasingly likely to work, befriend, and shop with dissimilar others, it is essential to understand the mechanisms that make different people converge rather than diverge from each other.
Besides identity, I am also interested in self-conscious affect such as shame and guilt and how they facilitate social influence. Social influence has great potential in nudging consumers from vice to virtue. However, the mere presence of others is not always effective in discouraging the consumption of vices, and sometimes may even backfire. To consolidate these mixed accounts, we argue that the presence of others triggers both a social bonding process and an anticipated shame process. Depending on the relationship with the other person (friend vs. stranger), a consumer may choose vice to bond or choose virtue to reduce shame. The openness to experience personality trait, which attenuates shame but has no effect on bonding, should moderate the influence of others.
Emily C. Tanner (Ph.D., Oklahoma State University) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing. Her research focuses on the formation and management of marketing relationships and the outcomes associated with strong relationships. She explores marketing relationships in three primary research streams: (1) role of emotion in marketing relationships; (2) implications of public policy on relationships; (3) implications of relationship termination.
Before her Ph.D., Dr. Tanner was the Director of Healthcare Sales at Research Now. She was involved in building the healthcare research department, and was heavily involved in managing and marketing of the healthcare-related marketing research panels.
Tanner, Emily C., John F. Tanner Jr., and Kirk Wakefield (2015), “Panacea or Paradox? The Moderating Role of Ethical Climate,” Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 35 (2), 175-190.
Emotion in Marketing Relationships. An often overlooked aspect in relationship research is the role emotion plays in the formation and management of the relationship. While there is plenty of research on the reasons for emotion and the outcomes of specific emotions during an interaction, there is not a definitive understanding of how the act of emotion exchange can impact the formation and maintenance of relationship. This research begins to address this gap in social exchange relationship research and separates emotion from other forms of communication or information exchange.
Implications of Public Policy on Relationships. The dynamics in clinical encounters, in terms of patient-physician relationship, patient roles, profession of medicine, illness experience, health care systems, and treatment strategy, has changed drastically over the past 50 years. Research has indicated patient-physician relationships have become multifaceted, less paternalistic, and more pivotal to health outcomes (Boyer and Lutfey 2010). Timmermans and Oh (2010) described the medical profession’s deprofessionalization and the pressure to reclaim and redefine physicians’ professional status. Greenfield et al (2012) showed how physicians struggle between their perceived power and professional identity when trying to satisfy patients. This research seeks abstractly to identify the power/dependence imbalance confronting physicians as they encounter multiple constituencies that effectively constrain them in the quest to perform health care services as well as deal with consequences that stems from public policy decisions.
Relationship Termination. Previous research has identified customer relationship termination as an effective way to reallocate resources, improve profitability, and better strategic alignment between remaining customers and business objectives. Little attention has been paid to understanding how the terminated customer reacts to the event and what the implications may be for the terminating provider as well as the impact the event has on future relationships and behaviors.
Michael F. Walsh (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing. Prior to graduate school and his current position, Mike worked for nearly 25 years in the corporate world. His research explores consumer resistance to change and a number of marketing and public policy matters. His research has been published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Product and Brand Management and the Journal of Consumer Marketing.
Su, L., Cui, P., Walsh, M. (2019). Trustworthy blue or untrustworthy red: The influence of brand logo theme colors on brand trust. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 27(3), 269-281.
Walsh, M., Cui, P., MacInnis, D. (2019). How to Successfully Introduce Logo Redesigns. Journal of Brand Management, 26(4), 365-376.
Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Lamberton, C., Walsh, M. (2016). Will I Pay for Your Pleasure? Consumers' Perceptions of Negative Externalities and Responses to Pigovian Taxes (Best Paper). Journal of the Association of Consumer Research, 1(3), 355-357.
Cui, P., Wajda, T., Walsh, M. (2015). Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets: A Case Study on China. Advances in International Marketing, 287-305.
Cui, P., Wajda, T., Walsh, M. (2015). Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets: A Case Study on China. Advances in International Marketing, 287-305.
Cui, P., Walsh, M. (2014). Importance of Strategic Fit between Host-Home Country Similarity and Exploration Exploitation Strategies on SMEs’ Performance: A Contingency Perspective. Journal of International Marketing.
Walsh, M., Plein, L. Christopher, Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Gurley - Calvez, T., Pellillo, A. (2014). Opting to Opt-In: Program Choice, Program Expectations and Results in West Virginia's Medicaid Reform Initiative. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 25(August), 1449-1471.
Walsh, M., Fitzgerald, M. Paula (2012). Health Care Reform Through the Eyes of Patients: A Qualitative Look at Medicaid Redesign. Health Marketing Quarterly, 29(1), 18-34.
Cui, P., Walsh, M., Gallion, D. (2011). Internationalization Challenges for SMEs and Global Marketing Managers: A Case Study. International Journal of Business and Social Research, 1(1), 57-69 (See attachment for journal rank justification).
Walsh, M., Winterich, K. P., Mittal, V. (2011). How Re-designing Angular Logos to Be Rounded Shapes Brand Attitude: Consumer Brand Commitment and Self-Construal. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 28(6), 438-447.
Walsh, M., Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Gurley - Calvez, T., Pellillo, A. (2011). Active Versus Passive Choice: Evidence from a Public Health Care Redesign. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 30(2), 191-202.
Gurley - Calvez, T., Pellillo, A., Fitzgerald, M. Paula, Walsh, M. (2011). Choice in Public Health Insurance: Evidence from West Virginia Medicaid Redesign. Inquiry, 48(1), 15-33.
Walsh, M., Winterich, K. P., Mittal, V. (2010). Do Logo Redesigns Help or Hurt Your Brand? The Role of Brand Commitment. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 19(2), 76-84.
Ongoing Research Projects
Internationalization of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses. SMEs are increasingly competing internationally and in most cases, internationalization of SMEs is no longer optional. This internationalization can take many forms: e.g., exporting, international collaboration and foreign direct investment. While there is abundant research on internationalization of SMEs, research on the marketing management issues of internationalization of SMEs has been more modest in scope, frequently focusing on specific industries, service sector or tactical aspects. Working with Dr. Annie Cui, we are examining this issue at a granular level with in-depth studies of select businesses as well as traditional survey research of SMEs.
Consumer Choice and Medicaid. Working with other colleagues from WVU, I have studied Medicaid programs, specifically consumer choice in one's state program. As part of this, we collected extensive probabilistic survey data. We continue to work with this data for additional insights and improved understanding of this aspect of consumer behavior.
Managing Change with Brand Aesthetics. Previous research has explored consumer response to changes in brand aesthetics, specifically logos. Studies have shown how change is managed and may influence how consumers respond to the change. One strategy may be to manage the reactions and expectations of strongly committed consumers by actively soliciting their input and perhaps pre-notifying them before the changes are revealed to the broader public. Giving the strongly committed such a feeling of being an "insider" may strengthen their self-brand connection and mitigate the potentially negative effects of logo redesign. For example, Apple Computer changed their logo a few years ago. At that time, Apple Computer failed to explicitly announce their logo change; the redesign simply appeared on products, packaging, and advertising. Possibly the negative responses over the change were because Apple’s new logo surprised and disappointed their strongly committed customers, who would have expected to know of such a change in advance. I am investigating this ameliorative strategy in an empirical study.