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Frontier of Marketing(Session 60)

Author:   Date:2024-03-25   Source:    ClickTimes:

Theme: Could Unearned Preferential Treatment Make Customers More Tolerant and Amiable?

Lecturer: Professor Xuemei Bian (Marketing at University of Northumbria)

Time:14:30-16:30, April 3, 2024 (Wednesday)

Venue: A203, Mingli Building, Lihu Campus, Shenzhen University

Host: Professor Zhimin Zhou (Department of Marketing, SZUCM)


Offering unearned preferential treatment has increasingly become a commonly adopted relationship marketing strategy, which has attracted research attention. Surprisingly, few studies bridge the unearned preferential treatment literature, customer tolerance and amiability, the key indicators of effective marketing strategies, accounting for distinct characteristics of unearned preferential treatment. This research aims to advance the relationship marketing and preferential treatment literature through unveiling new insights, which bear substantial practical implications in relation to unearned preferential treatments. Our central interest is to explore whether, when and why distinct unearned preferential treatments conferred at the initial stage of service process influence the standards employed for evaluation of subsequent services and relational outcomes. Specifically, through defining distinct unearned preferential treatment according to the key characteristic metrics, namely status (status- vs. non-status-oriented) and value (high vs. low), we uncover the influential and distinguishable impacts of distinct unearned preferential treatments at the initial stage of service process on customer and their relational reactions, including tolerance and amiability. We also analyze the competing mechanisms underpinning the observed influences. That is, unearned preferential treatments evoke customer affections and cognitions, in the form of delight, social power, feeling of unease (not social discomfort) and inequity, the interplay of which, in turn, casts variations of customer response.

Lecturer profile:

Dr Xuemei Bian is Professor in Marketing at University of Northumbria, EDI Lead of MOS and Innovation Fellow of the British Academy 2022/23. She is an advisor to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the national government agency (approximately 1,600 staff), which operates and maintains a clear and accessible intellectual property system in the UK to encourage innovation and helps the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas. Between November 2020 and June 2021, she served IPO’s Exhaustion of Intellectual Property Rights evidence sub-group in her capacity of advisor. She currently holds visiting professor role at Tianjin University and is also Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University. Her main research interests are in consumer behavior, branding and advertising, with a focus on how judgments, evaluations and choice vary as a function of different decision-making strategies. She has established and sustained an international reputation and recognition in two main research areas: 1) consumption behavior; and, 2) effective advertising with a focus on the influences of advertising appeals on brands, consumer well-being, and behavioral tendency.