Academic Trustees Reading List

Gavan Fitzsimon’s Journal Must-Reads from 2014

Gavan J. Fitzsimons is the R. David Thomas Professor of Marketing and Psychology at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. His research focuses on understanding the ways in which consumers may be influenced without their conscious knowledge or awareness by marketers and marketing researchers, often without any intent on the part of the marketer. 

His recommendations for our 2014 reading list:

“Because I (Don't) Deserve It: How Relationship Reminders and Deservingness Influence Consumer Indulgence” by Lisa A. Cavanaugh, Journal of Marketing Research, April 2014

Fitzsimons: So much of marketing efforts in the last few years has focused on going beyond the individual consumer and making sure we consider their social networks. This paper provides a superb reminder that cues that emphasize social connections can at times lead to effects that are not what the firm may have intended or desired.

 Free access to journal article until February 27, 2015

"Happiness from Ordinary and Extraordinary Experiences,” by Amit Bhattacharjee and Cassie Mogilner, Journal of Consumer Research, June 2014

Fitzsimons: Following a recent burst of research activity documenting that experiences lead to more happiness than purchasing objects, this piece drills down on what kinds of experiences lead to the greatest happiness for our customers. The research shows that for young consumers, extraordinary experiences are where it is at. As we age, however, we gain more and more happiness from ordinary daily experiences. Important framing implications are to be found for firms as they consider presenting their wares as either objects (e.g., a beer) or experiences (e.g., celebrating with friends) and now, importantly, as ordinary or rare happenings.

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