Are consumer associations still legitimate and trustworthy in the eyes of consumers?

At a time when the government wants to reduce grants granted to consumer associations by nearly 40%, consumer associations seem to lose the support of the State, which has been given for the last six decades. What about the consumers themselves?

The mission of consumer associations is to inform their audiences and help them resolve daily life disputes, either out-of-court or through legal action. Since the coming into effect of class/collective actions, introduced by the law of 17 March 2014 (aka. Loi Hamon), consumer associations can even bring victims together to take legal action and defend their public interest.


Are consumer associations superheroes?

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Measuring marketing capabilities? It’s possible and useful!

Measuring marketing capabilities? It’s possible and useful!

In life, to meet challenges, you have to have the corresponding capabilities. It’s the same for companies: organizational capabilities, that are adapted to the key success factors of challenges, represent a guarantee of more or less satisfactory performance depending on expectations and objectives. In addition, these virtues can be dynamic when these capabilities make it possible to continuously bring to light new skills that will be adapted to the emergence of new key success factors.

These general—and ultimately trivial—considerations highlight the importance for a company’s marketing strategy to examine, build or reinforce such marketing capabilities. The stake—and probable difficulty—to properly define them first, identify them second, and gauge them at last is another very important issue.

However, it is such a project that animated Philippe Massiera, Laura Trinchera, and Giorgio Russolillo. The results of the data analysis collected from a sample of 199 French SMEs were recently published in Recherche et Applications en Marketing.

car red

Marketing capabilities: showing what the SME got under the hood

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A little bit less of prestige, a little bit more of customers?

Crisis, austerity, declining purchasing power… what if brands also had to adapt themselves to this new context by offering less prestigious products? The question of brand downward extension is particularly relevant nowadays for the attraction of new customers. Peugeot 301, Paul & Joe Sister, Marc by Marc Jacobs or Levi Strauss Signature are all examples of down-market and less expensive products or lines. Companies are going crazy about vertical downward line extension strategy, because it allows to reach new customers and increase sales. It is easier, faster and less expensive to implement this strategy than to create new brands (e.g. use of the Dacia brand to market the Logan in France). Nevertheless, it is often considered as being particularly dangerous because of the risk to bring down the brand image.

In a study published in Research and Applications in Marketing journal (January 2016), Fanny Magnoni shows the effects of brand downward extension strategy through the examination of its effects on the customer-brand relationship in two sectors: automobile and ready-to-wear.


M.C. Escher may have wondered if a brand that wants to progress must go down or up…

The downward extension pulls down if…

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Tell me how you are doing and I will tell you where you are shopping.

The morale of French people…

Barometer [1] of the degree of the optimism toward the general state of economy and the own financial situation of the French people is regularly brought to attention for its effects on sectoral or national demand. Indeed, the morale is likely to determine the “willingness to buy” or, on contrary, the desire to make savings to cope with a degraded material situation. And what if beyond these macro effects, it can also explain the turnover variations of different formats of stores (discount stores, supermarkets or hypermarkets)? This is the question raised by Paul-Valentin Ngobo and Aurore Ingarao in a recent article in Recherches et Applications en Marketing.

menage stable

Everything is fine! Credits: Catoune

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Travel to Amapie. Discovering the three hidden worlds.

An AMAP is an association for maintaining rural agriculture aiming at preserving local farm. Their purpose is to support sustainable agriculture through social responsibility policies and ecological concerns. Since the creation of the first AMAP in 2001, their number has increased exponentially and are present mostly in each regions of France: more than 2000 AMAP have been registered in 2015, which represents more than 250.000 members. [1]

How can we explain this enthusiasm? What significations do engaged consumers assign to AMAPs? What meaning do they confer to their consumption? On which imaginary, representations or values these types of consumption rely on? Based on a consequent ethnographic study, Philippe Robert-Demontrond, Vanessa Beaudoin and Isabelle Dabadies, researchers from the CREM, intend to provide some insights in their article published in Research and Applications in Marketing.


Is there as many AMAP people in this plate as vegetables?

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All equals in resistance?

Are we all equals when facing an influence attempt? Do we all have the same dispositions to push back or avoid a salesman trying to make us buy a product? To resist advertising arguments? To elude marketing traps? To prevent ourselves from succumbing to a promotion? These everyday situations activate for certain consumers a propensity to resist which varies in strength.

This predisposition is the focus of Annie-Stephanie Banikema and Dominique Roux’s latest article. They show the propensity to resist has two facets: self-assertion (reflecting the refusal of being distracted or disturbed by the source of influence), and self-protection (reflecting the desire to protect oneself from mercantile influences and avoid them through escape or inertia).


Hedging against promotions

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Made in “home”

When being local modifies consumers’ perception.

In 2014, an IPSOS survey revealed that now, 70% of French consumed more local products than 2 years ago. Recession, repetitive food crises, social responsibility… many reasons come to mind as explicative factors. But could it simply be a matter of taste?


Do home-grown products taste better?

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Do too many labels kill labels?

You’ve probably asked yourself this question at least once: “But why are there so many labels and brand logos on this bag of grated Italian cheese or on this bottle of milk?”

grana padano labe

Four logos for one product.

It is rare today that only one brand name appears on a product. Some names are added as a guarantee signal; for example, the brand name of a manufacturer such as Danone (Dannon) or Nestlé, or that of a retailer when it is a private label product. Other names are regulated collective marks such as the Label Rouge (Red Label), the AB logo, the Protected Geographical Indications (PGI)… Finally, some labels are private (Fairtrade or Max Havelaar).

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Facing death to make you change your behavior in the face of climate risks: is fear in advertising a recipe that still works?

The tropical storm, Irma, which recently raged in the United States has once again brought to the fore the dire consequences of climate change. For a very large number of people, the succession of worldwide natural disasters (tsunami, hurricane, storm…)—more frequent and violent—is necessarily linked to climate change. Many voices are rising to denounce the public policies and individual consumer practices that contribute to a growing production of the carbon emissions at the origin of global warming.


An example of an ad by WWF

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Marketing pressure under questioning: do loyalty program must consider consumers’ well-being?

Here is a well-established knowledge: loyalty programs compete hard to find the idea that will retain and conduct consumers to conclude their shopping.  For instance, gifts offered through the Flying Blue program of Air France can be obtained only under certain conditions based on an amount spent within a given time framework. Promod or Yves Rocher brands give access to “points” that expire after a certain time delay. Also, as Sephora loyalty programs, numerous brands use the threat of downgrading status providing certain privileges if the customer does not meet the purchase requirements. Yet, as underlined by Virginie Pez, Raphaëlle Butori and Aïda Mimouni Chaabane in their article published in Research and Applications in Marketing, the common denominator in these commercial practices is the introduction of constraints that create pressure on customers’ shoulders.

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