Speaker Series: Jodie Whelan - October 16

"Can everyday brands be threatening? Responses to brand primes depend on childhood socioeconomic status."

Monday, October 16, 2017
1:30 pm 
SSC Room 4317

Jodie Whelan is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the School of Administrative Studies at York University. She completed her PhD at the Ivey School of Business, during which time she was awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canada's most prestigious doctoral scholarship.  Her research explores how childhood environments shape adult consumer behaviour, as well as how situational reminders of consuming can influence "non-consumer" behaviour.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Psychology & Marketing, and Marketing Letters.

The current work investigates whether childhood socioeconomic status influences how people respond to brands.  Results from two experiments show that, perhaps counter-intuitively, everyday brands - and not luxury brands - can threaten the self-esteem of people who had poor childhoods.  Supported by the results of our pilot study, we argue this is because everyday brands represent a material norm that can be difficult for low-income consumers to achieve. Furthermore, our findings suggest that consumers from poor backgrounds may cope with this threat by becoming more self-interested, as indicated by decreased volunteer intentions. Contributions, implications, and areas for future research are discussed.