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The Marketing Mix and Implementation

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Huajian
Words 12265
Pages 50
“So Cute I Could Eat It Up”: Priming Effects of Cute Products on Indulgent Consumption
GERGANA Y. NENKOV
MAURA L. SCOTT
This article examines the extent to which consumers engage in more indulgent consumption when they are exposed to whimsically cute products and explores the process by which such products affect indulgence. Prior research on kindchenschema (baby schema) has found that exposure to cute babies or baby animals leads to more careful behavior (see the study by Sherman, Haidt, and Coan), suggesting restraint. The present research uncovers the opposite: consumers become more indulgent in their behavior after exposure to whimsically cute products.
Drawing from research on cognitive priming, kindchenschema, anthropomorphization, indulgence, and regulatory focus, this research posits that exposure to whimsically cute products primes mental representations of fun, increasing consumers’ focus on approaching self-rewards and making consumers more likely to choose indulgent options. These effects do not emerge for kindchenschema cute stimuli, since they prime mental representations of vulnerability and caretaking.
Four empirical studies provide evidence for the proposed effects and their underlying process.

C

ompanies market a rapidly increasing number and variety of cute products across numerous categories, targeting not only children but also adult consumers. The marketplace is replete with cute clothing, utensils, appliances, foods, office supplies, and even automobiles, which are quite popular among adult consumers (Marcus 2002; Taylor 2011;
Yano 2004). For example, Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade products, which sells a wide variety of cute products (e.g., crocheted R2-D2s, dog-inspired pillows, and painted wooden figurines), had revenues of $895 million in
2012 (Wolverson 2013) and the Lilly Pulitzer fashion brand,
which…...

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