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Regulatory Focus, Fit and Marketing Design

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Regulatory Focus Theory of Higgins and its implications in terms of design and marketing communications

Regulatory Focus Theory of Higgins and its implications in terms of design and marketing communications

Published in: Marketing, Business, Design

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  • 1. Some Implications Of The Regulatory Focus Theory On Marketing And Design Ezgi Merdin PhD candidate in Marketing Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, TR
  • 2. Main Objectives  To introduce the Regulatory Focus Theory for use in the domain of Marketing and Design  To touch upon three main areas that this theoretical framework has impact on: Reg. Focus of Consumer Product Categorization Design Attributes  To support with real brands’ design examples 2 Segmentation by Design
  • 3. Consumer Psychology and Design 3
  • 4. The Regulatory Focus Theory Originated by Tory E. Higgins from Columbia University A fundamental motivational theory Wide research and theory development potential Promotion v. Prevention types The basic premise of the regulatory focus is that: individuals with a promotion focus are strategically inclined to approach matches to desired end-states whereas individuals with a prevention focus are strategically inclined to avoid mismatches to desired end-states.  Both are strategies towards desired end-states but with different orientations.  Two orientations also differ in terms of outcomes like performance, persistence, information recall or information processing, creativity, expectations and types of emotions felt etc.      4
  • 5. The Regulatory Focus Theory Static v. Temporary? There is almost a consensus among regulatory focus researchers that it can be both an individual trait and also a momentary inclination due to manipulations or context. For chronic; It may be correlated with the societies or countries we live in and have correlations with global adaptations of design and marketing activities. For momentary; Retail atmosphere, company website, online design, packaging, labeling, ad design, brand identity etc. are external momentary stimuli to invoke either type of orientation. 5
  • 6. The Regulatory Focus Theory PROMOTION FOCUS PREVENTION FOCUS SOURCE gain v. non-gain situations non-loss v. loss situations insure hits insure correct rejections cheerfulness emotions quiescence emotions ideal self ought self earning extra avoiding loss eager means vigilant means advancement, aspirations, accomplishments protection, safety and responsibilities risky bias conservative bias Crowe & Higgins, 1997 abstract mental representations concrete mental representations Keller et al., 2004 change stability Liberman et al., 1999 creativity self-control Freitas et al., 200 fun and enjoyment safety and security Aaker & Lee, 2001 6 Higgins, 1997 Higgins, 2002
  • 7. Implications on Marketing & Design 7
  • 8. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design Certain product types may associate with certain type of foci chronically. It is possible to classify products in terms of the promotion or prevention focus they embody.  insurance v. risky investments For example ‘insurance’ as a product has the effect of prevention focus condition whereas especially risky investments may evoke the promotion focus due to risky bias v. conservative bias.  big toys v. little tools Florack et al. (2005) hypothesized that ‘big toys’, products involving greater purchase risk like sports cars are promotion connected whereas ‘little tools’, functional products like detergents are prevention connected. This is based both on emotions, cognition and motivation behind. 8
  • 9. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design  condom v. lipstick In an experiment, Werth and Foerster (2007) used the pairings of condom with chronic promotion and lipstick with chronic prevention in order to manipulate product type. They found that focus compatible products are evaluated more positively. Design Guidelines: For a promotion product like a lipstick emphasize positive outcomes of usage like attractiveness or visibility (gain sensitivity), the fun and joy of it (cheerfulness related emotions) or promoting brave colours (risky bias). Insurance or condom are prevention-related products therefore the design strategy emphasizes safety, control and security attributes of these products and a strong sense of “ought” for using them. A forceful spokesperson is suitable. 9
  • 10. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design PREVENTION FOCUS non-loss v. loss situations avoiding loss protection, safety and responsibilities concrete mental representations safety and security 10
  • 11. Product Categorization Design Attributes Funny, comic style make-up brand designs like “Lush” or “benefit”; which is a match in terms of promotion related products inspiring fun-related emotions and creativity. Segment by Design PROMOTION FOCUS cheerfulness emotions ideal self eager means creativity fun and enjoyment 11
  • 12. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design Advertising and Message Framing: Cesario et al. (2004) study revealed that promotion focused individuals are more prone to be persuaded by eagerly framed ads whereas prevention focused individuals are more prone to be persuaded by vigilantly framed ads. Goal: One step further, for analyzing the goal compatibility, Lee and Aaker (2004) showed two different types of ads for a grape juice, one of which was in promotion condition by signaling ‘increased energy’ whereas the other was in prevention condition by signaling ‘prevention of diseases’. 12
  • 13. The Regulatory Focus Theory PROMOTION FOCUS PREVENTION FOCUS gain v. non-gain situations insure hits insure correct rejections ideal self ought self earning extra 13 non-loss v. loss situations avoiding loss
  • 14. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design Brand Personalities Brands can also be evaluated in terms of their promotion versus prevention focus. For example; Apple has the image of promotion focus with its focus on technical advancement, success and superior design whereas Dell or Toshiba is associated with prevention focus with its emphasis on reliability, long life and low rates of failure and breakdown . Creativity, fun and winning are qualities to advance for Apple whereas reliability, strength, persistence and control are qualities to advance for Dell and Toshiba. 14
  • 15. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design Brand Related Competition and Online Games In terms of designing web tools, social media campaigns or activities, both states of being should be considered. Prizes and creative campaigns may not always work for prevention focus dominant individuals that value duties, strong oughts, sensitivity to losses. The prize structure of any campaign design is to be chosen in line with the brand or product's regulatory orientation. Hits, success and score are emphasized for promotion whereas 100% correctness, avoidance and protection are key to design games or applications for prevention related categories or brands. 15
  • 16. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design Social Media Marketing Farmville online game How to insert an insurance brand advertisement? Protect your crops! PREVENTION FOCUS non-loss v. loss situations avoiding loss protection, safety and responsibilities conservative bias stability safety and security 16
  • 17. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design  One of the value-adding stages of marketing strategy is customer segmentation by design (Strauss, 2008).  A promotion orientation values luxury, high status symbols and technically advanced attributes. A prevention orientation values protection, warning, safety, reliability and service. Safer (1998) tested it for cars and apartments. 17
  • 18. Product Categorization Design Attributes Segment by Design A sun lotion brand theoretically related with prevention (protection) orientation can add a new target segment consisting of promotion dominant individuals by adding a new line with luxurious design bottles 18
  • 19. Future Suggestions Labels and Packaging People selectively attend to product information that fit their regulatory focus which is yet another information filtering system of individuals. Global Design Cross cultural research will reveal dimensions to consider for global adaptations of design, packaging, advertisement for prevention-dominant cultures v. promotion-dominant cultures. 19