Understanding people with disabilities to better emancipate them!

According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), ‘is disabled any person whose physical or mental integrity is temporarily or permanently diminished, whether congenitally, or under the effect of age or an accident, such that their autonomy, their ability to attend school or to hold a job are compromised.’ Disability is multifaceted; it concerns motor, visual, auditory or psychic handicap just as much as intellectual disability and disabling conditions.

The situation in France is most worrisome: there are no fewer than 12 million French people with disabilities. A recent survey by Iperia L’Institut, entitled ‘Les Français face au handicap’ (‘The French faced with disability’) and published at the end of 2017, shows how worried French people are for people with disabilities. Nearly eight out of ten people in France believe that people with disabilities are isolated, and 97% consider it important to train personal carers to ensure their proper care.

In a recent article published in Recherche et Applications en Marketing, Nathalie Dubost challenges the researchers that we are on the current state of scientific production on people with disabilities and their consumption—a context of study with numerous societal stakes. The author gives a retrospective view of the main conclusions that emerge from the current research on disability—the ‘Disability Studies’—as well as the marketing studies that relate to the consumption practices of people with disabilities.


In Toulouse, visuals illustrate the metro stations to help foreigners and people with disabilities find their way around the city.

An ambivalent representation of consumers with disabilities

Nathalie Dubost shows that there is not one but two representations of consumers with disabilities. On one hand, he/she is seen as a passive consumer who limits himself/herself to communicating his/her needs while waiting for an adapted offer to be designed. On the other hand, he/she is considered an active consumer who seeks to adapt to the marketplace and acquire autonomy in all the choices he/she makes. No matter the representation adopted, the ‘Disability Studies’ come to the harsh conclusion that studying the consumption behavior of people with disabilities does not allow a real improvement in their quality of life!

A necessary integration of people with disabilities into the research process

Research in marketing is unanimous—it is important to enable people with disabilities to participate in the research process to promote the adoption of a reflective stance on their consumption environment, and lead to true appropriation of research findings. Even if participatory research is not applicable to all forms of disability—such as psychic or mental handicap—areas for improvement are developed. It becomes urgent to:

  1. Harness the skills of people with disabilities so they can think about the products that really suit their needs;
  2. Better understand the caregiver-care receiver relationship and the decision-making dynamics that binds them;
  3. Enable people with disabilities to self-report the affect they are feeling with regard to their disability in order to develop consumer solutions that are tailored to each individual.

We have just stated the keys to a fruitful participatory research—one that creates value for all stakeholders. Without doubt, these keys will lessen the worries shared by French people and identified in the last survey of Iperia L’Institut, and will lead to a customized product offering conducive to a better quality of life for people with disabilities.

Now that we have talked about marketing researchers, what are practitioners doing? What steps do they implement to develop an offer that corresponds to the real needs of people with disabilities?

Dubost, N. (2018) Disability and consumption: A state of the art, Research and Applications in Marketing, First published April 27th.

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When imaginaries underlie the creation of the nanotechnology market…

Nanotechnologies heralding a ‘nanorevolution’?

Nanotechnologies are built on the unique properties of materials that have a length scale of one-billionth of a meter. This represents the set of technologies that deal with objects with dimensions of less than one nanometer; a nanometer corresponds to 0.000000001m (i.e. one-billionth of a meter). It must be said that the microscopic scale of this material finds a paradoxical expression in the ‘macroscopic’ economic importance that it represents—a billion dollars market value. Considerable possibilities across various fields are considered in terms of the applications of nanotechnologies.


What role can imaginaries play in the building process of the nanotechnology market?

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Shock charity campaigns: A guide for fine research

Have you read the blog post written by Ouidade Sabri on the article of Jeanne Albouy that was recently published in Recherche et Applications en Marketing? No? For a catch-up session, you can go to: Using shock to incite donation, how far can we go?

Now, have you read this post? Bravo! What did you think? It’s time to leave a comment on the AFM blog, before or after you’ve read Darren Dahl’s article on Jeanne Albouy’s work. Professor of Marketing at the Sauder School of Business (University of British Columbia, Canada) and receiver of many research and teaching awards, Darren Dahl is an expert on social influence; his work notably sheds light on how to conduct research in this field and opens avenues for research.


An example of a shock and unconventional ad (for a public radio)

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Trust Advisor! Or how to fight against fake reviews on internet?

That’s decided, I’ll book the hotel that received the best comments on booking.com. This is the way to successful holidays! More than 70%  internet users look at other consumers’ reviews before they buy, but only 25% find them reliable. First, common sense tells us not to trust blindly other consumers, and second, the increasing number of fake reviews  justifies this suspicion. About half of the reviews would be fake according to the DGCCRF (French general office for trade competition, consumption and repression of fraud).

Andreas Munzel builds his Recherche et Application en Marketing article on this fact. He shows how we can help internet users identifying fake positive reviews to make more reliable choices.


What kind of reviews does Norman Bates’ motel deserve?

Reassure consumers

Three experiments respectively conducted with 197, 211, and 141 US consumers (average age 30) show that a website can use two strategies to appear reliable, to receive favourable evaluations, and then increase the willingness to buy.

  • It can use a 3rd parry-awarded label (here from Consumer reports) stating the website has procedures to detect fake reviews
  • It can simply state for itslef its ability to identify and remove fake reviews.

The 3rd party label strategy proves more efficient. The website appears to be more credible and triggers a higher willingness to buy. It works even better when internet users have previously been warned about potential fake reviews and the difficulty to identify them. Older consumers and those considering themselves as experts (in reviews) are more likely to follow this pattern.

OK, but how can one do?

In relation with the efficiency of the 3rd party label, the author advises setting up the (non compulsory) AFNOR norm. Since July 2013, AFNOR (French national organization for standardization) suggests a list of good practices to websites willing to give credentials to internet users about their reviews. He also recommends using labels such as Fia-net, Avis verifies, etc. Only 3 out of 10 websites have certified reviews at the moment.

In addition, websites must continue their efforts to improve the reliability of algorithms in charge of detecting fake reviews based on the words used, the repetition, the length of the comments… but also on the integration of “contextual factors such as the consistency of the review, or the divulgation of information about the author of the review” that are less likely to be manipulated by the pros of fake reviews.

Fake reviews trigger a generalised suspicion, which could backlash against the websites’ owners. Ironically, some owners are at the origin of the production of fake reviews as they buy them from professional companies. When one’s hoisted by his own petard?

Munzel A. (2016), Malicious practice of fake reviews: Experimental insight into the potential of contextual indicators in assisting consumers to detect deceptive opinion spam, Research and Applications in Marketing, 30(4), 24-50.

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When bulky waste reflect our relation to others

Have you ever left objects on the pavement? Or have you ever collected some? If you have not, you surely have already seen other people doing it…. Did you ask yourself about the meaning of this practice for those performing it? Maybe about the meaning of these objects staying downstairs until they are destroyed, or until they are born again into a second life?


“A piano standing on the street corner” from Michael Korchia

Dominique Roux and Valerie Guillard undertook a qualitative study interviewing “collecters” and “ditchers” in order to better understand this growing phenomenon.

Sociability as a path to collecting

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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

Measuring marketing capabilities: an important and reachable end-goal… Continue reading

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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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