The value of making producers personal

Christoph Fuchs, Ulrike Kaiser, Martin Schreier, Stijn M.J. van Osselaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Consumers often know nothing about the person(s) who made the products they consume. This manuscript shows that firms can benefit from changing this status quo. We demonstrate that “personizing” the producer, that is, exposing consumers to personal information about a given product's producer, can significantly increase product preference and willingness to pay. We find this effect even if the related information is not tied to the producer's production competencies which is surprising from an economic perspective because the added information is non-diagnostic. We propose that this effect unfolds because the personizing treatment makes consumers feel more socially connected to the producer, which the consumer rewards through increased product demand. A series of studies documents the existence of the personizing effect, provides process evidence for the effect by mediation and moderation, and rules out several alternative explanations. More broadly, this research advances our understanding of why and when making producers personal can be beneficial in commercial transactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-495
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Retailing
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Personal information
  • Personalization
  • Personizing
  • Product preference
  • Social connectedness
  • Willingness to pay

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