Wichmann, Julian Raphael Klaus ORCID: 0000-0003-0205-5243 (2019). The Evolving Brand-Consumer Relationship - The Impact of Business Cycles, Digital Platforms, and New Advertising Technologies. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Unprecedented technological progress and pronounced business cycles were the defining factors of the past two decades and disrupted consumers’ everyday lives as well as brands’ established modus operandi. For example, the severe global financial crisis and the subsequent European debt crisis forced many consumers to tighten their belts and change what, where, and how they shop. As a consequence, long established relationships with brands were put to the test as consumers adopted and habituated new shopping behaviors that not only shaped their purchases during the recessions but even beyond (Lamey 2014; Lamey et al. 2007). On the technological side, digital platforms such as AirBnb and Uber unhinged entire industries (Eckhardt et al. 2019; Parker, Van Alstyne, and Choudary 2016). At the same time, digital platforms have allowed brands to be consumers’ constant companions in various areas of their life such as money management, personal health, exercising, nutrition, and more (Ramaswamy and Ozcan 2016, 2018). Technological progress has also produced ever more sophisticated advertising tools that allow brands to target consumers with pinpoint accuracy and allow any brand irrespective of its advertising budget to address their specific (niche) target consumers using highly engaging ad formats such as online video advertising (Anderson 2006; Bergemann and Bonatti 2011; Van Laer et al. 2014). Evidently, these fundamental forces—business cycles, digital platforms, and new advertising technologies—have substantially affected consumers, brands, and their relationship. In three essays, my co-authors and I show empirically, experimentally, and conceptually how brands and consumers have reacted and adjusted to these changes and how their relationship thus evolved. In the first essay, we find that while business cycles put established consumer-brand relationships to the test, brands remain important to consumers even in recessions. They adjust their shopping strategies to allow themselves to keep consuming branded products, for example by switching to cheaper outlets or buying on promotion. The second essay shows that digital platforms are a powerful tool that allows brands to create and orchestrate superior value for consumers and thus become increasingly influential in their daily lives. We discuss how this development profoundly elevates the brand-consumer relationship. The third essay, presents insights into skippable ads, an advertising format specific to digital channels. It transforms consumers’ traditional role in the advertising context from a captive audience to an empowered one that is granted the option to skip ads. My results show that, counter-intuitively, this is not only perceived positively by consumers but may disrupt their advertising viewing experience. Thus, I present strategies for advertisers that mitigate the adverse effects of skippable ads and improve branding.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Wichmann, Julian Raphael Klausj.r.k.wichmann@gmail.comorcid.org/0000-0003-0205-5243UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-107256
Date: 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Business Administration > Marketing > Professorship for Business Administration, Retailing and Customer Management
Subjects: Management and auxiliary services
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Business CyclesEnglish
Online AdvertisingEnglish
Online PlatformsEnglish
Brand-Consumer RelationshipEnglish
Brand-Customer RelationshipEnglish
Firm-Customer RelationshipEnglish
Skippable AdsEnglish
Shopping StrategiesEnglish
Relational PlatformsEnglish
Transactional PlatformsEnglish
Date of oral exam: 12 February 2020
NameAcademic Title
Reinartz, WernerProf. Dr.
Hernán, BrunoProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/10725


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