Past Events

2016 - 2017

October 7th, 2016, 12:00 - 1:30
Co-constructing Institutions One Brick at a Time: Appropriation and Deliberation on LEGO Ideas
Al Muñiz, Marketing Department, DePaul University, Hope Schau, Marketing Department, University of Arizona, Marie Taillard, Marketing Department, ESCP Europe - Paris

For this presentation, Al Muñiz will join us to discuss work he has been doing with Hope Schau and Marie Taillard. As technology has enabled the development of platforms on which contributors can exchange ideas, many firms have launched collaborative programs in which they encourage customers to contribute product ideas and other innovative inputs. While many firms understand the benefits of integrating external resources, there are significant challenges and obstacles. The institutional gap that exists between consumers and the brand or firm as an institution has been under-explored. Consumers and firms operate separately, are driven by different purposes and enact different practices. Moreover, both consumer communities and firms can evolve as they collaborate with each other, exhibiting new practices that can alter their relationship. The LEGO Group has reinforced their reputation as a leader in community building by inviting fans to contribute creativity via a platform on which fans can propose new models for production. In this presentation, Al will discuss the evolution of practices on the LEGO Ideas platform based on an analysis of conversations about platform rules and purposes. Using conversations and online posts as a source of data, Al and his colleagues explore the institutionalization process by analyzing the effects of participants’ posts on the overall evolution of practices of both firm and consumer. We found evidence of thirteen practices. Two were previously identified. Another, was similar to one previously identified. The others were new practices that we discerned in this context. Al will present evidence that the two institutions are evolving in opposite directions.


November 4th, 2016, 12:00 - 1:130
Putting in face work: An exploration of how consumers manage social identity in the face of identity threat
Akon Ekpo, Department of Marketing, Rutgers University, Benet DeBerry-Spence, Marketing Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, Geraldine Rosa Henderson, Marketing Department, Loyola University

For this presentation, Akon will present a phenomenological inquiry into the lived experiences of marginalized consumers as they manage their social identity and its complexity through their use of marketplace navigation strategies. Akon (and her colleagues) investigate how consumers manage their social identities in the face of systematic identity threat and the consumption practices that ensue in response. During this presentation, Akon will discuss the patterns by which consumers attempt to democratize the marketplace through consumption and how institutional forces may work against these attempts.


February 3rd, 2017, 12:00 - 1:30
Brands "Wave A Rainbow Flag": Subcultural Consumption of LGBT Consumers
Deniz Akgül, Visiting Scholar, College of Business, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Over past two decades, numerous brands have shown an increased willingness to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) consumers. LGBT is the largest subculture in the world, and the subculture represents a big market segment with high purchasing power. Companies spend millions of dollars to target members of the LGBT community and to show that that they support diversity. In this presentation, Deniz will present her work aimed to understand the bonds between LGBT consumers and their preferred brands and how their subculture affects this bond. The study’s main purpose is to examine the LGBT consumers’ attitudes towards gay/lesbian-friendly brands or non-gay/lesbian-friendly brands, including a close look at their brand trust and loyalty. Deniz’s findings are based on ten depth-interviews conducted with members of LGBT community, as well as a survey implemented to understand the attitudes towards (non) gay/lesbian-friendly brands, including brand trust and brand loyalty. Findings reveal the LGBT consumers see gay/lesbian friendly brands as identity proxies and a bond and trust is created between consumers and brands in the long term. Also this bond and trust differ according to their subculture membership.


March 3rd, 2017, 12:00 - 1:30
Dancing With The Enemy: Dynamics, Drivers, and Outcomes of Rival Brand Engagement In Social Media
Behice Ece Ilhan, Marketing Department, DePaul University, Koen Pauwels, Marketing Department, Ozyegin University Istanbul, Raoul Kubler, Marketing Department, Ozyegin University Istanbul

Fans of a brand interact with the social-media ecosystem of rival brands and their fans. Ece and her colleagues define this interactive, intercommunal, and interbrand practice—-a behavioral manifestation of rival brand engagement—-as “dancing with the enemy” (DwE). Expanding the brand-centric community model of oppositional loyalty, Ece will discuss a synergistic and interdependent quadratic model as DwE bridges rival brand communities and benefits the involved brands. She will also discuss how her multimethod analysis identified the types, triggers, dynamics, and consequences of DwE across industries of technology, fast food, toothpaste, beverages, and sports apparel. Ece's presentation will include a discussion of her netnographic analysis, which reveals that migratory practices cross-fertilize rival communities with affection, ideas, and polarity. Based on content and sentiment analysis, she shows that fans posting in both communities (DwE Across) stimulates both brand-negative (DwE Within) and brand-positive (DwE Ripple) discourse. Time series analysis shows that DwE dynamics are a main driver of broader social-media brand engagement as they substantially increase and prolong the engagement effects of managerial control variables such as communication campaigns and new-product introductions. Ece will also discuss the specific levers that brand managers can use to stimulate intercommunal and synergistic consequences of DwE.


April 7th, 2017, 12:00 - 1:30
How Can Marketing Compete in the Professional Contest over the Emerging Field of Social Media?
Ashlee Humphreys, IMC Faculty, Medill School, Northwestern University, Andrew Smith, Marketing Department, Suffolk University

Academic research and professional work have converged around social media, and marketing is but one occupation competing for control and influence in this emerging field. Yet the outcomes of these competitive dynamics are likely to affect marketing’s professional status, material resources, and disciplinary boundaries. We mobilize Abbott’s (1988) sociological theory of the system of professions to study the occupational rivalry over social media. In doing so, we find that social media has evolved considerably since its emergence and that its jurisdictions—the core professional tasks associated with the field—have shifted between communication, learning, and measurement. Marketing faces considerable competition from other disciplines surrounding each jurisdiction. Drawing on our analysis, we suggest ways that marketing can bolster its standing over social media jurisdictions and make recommendations for how marketing managers can better position themselves in this dynamic, multi-disciplinary field. We also contribute knowledge to the literature on field dynamics in marketing and the body of research that reflects upon the focus and boundaries of the marketing discipline.


May 5th, 2017, 12:00 - 1:30
How Do Myth Markets Respond To Institutional Change?
Markus Giesler, Department of Marketing, York University

Although previous scholarship has theorized the co-constitutive relationships between commercial mythmaking and popular memory that arise through myth market competitions for consumer identity value, whether and how myth markets are influenced by changes in the institutional landscape has received far less theoretical attention. To redress this issue, Markus and his colleagues (Katja Brunk, European University Viadrina; Benjamin Hartmann, University of Gothenburg) analyzed the commercial mythmaking processes in the German Ostalgie market for products and brands that idealize the now defunct German Democratic Republic (GDR). We demonstrate that Ostalgie myth makers had to frequently produce and implement new mythic idealizations of the GDR past, each tailored to addressing new identity tensions provoked by a specific structural re-form of German reunification. Building on the sociology of popular memory, we theorize this dynamic through the fourfold process of retrofication and discuss its implications for previous conceptualizations of commercial mythmaking, moral consumption, and retro branding.

Markus was selected as our annual "fly-in" speaker--someone who does not live within driving distance of Chicago and whose travel expenses are paid by our generous sponsors. As is true every year, nominations and voting for the "fly in" speaker were open to everyone on the C4 mailing list. Thanks to all who participated!