Consumer psychology is a study that deals with the activities that are directly involved in consumer buying decisions, such as motivations, thoughts, attitudes, needs, motives, wants, desires, and emotions. Consumer psychology employs theoretical psychological approaches to understand, describe, predict, and influence consumers. Consumer psychologists draw upon psychological domains, such as social, cognitive, and developmental domains to explain consumer responses. Consumer psychology is used to help organizations improve business performance, educate and help consumers make better buying decisions, and influences public policy. It is mostly used by consumer and motivation researchers and advertisers. Yoon and Tinkham (2013) did research on the use of humor to communicate threatening information in advertising. They realized that most advertisers that deal with critical issues that have negative consequences for the consumer or the public use threat persuasion, otherwise known as fear appear. Threatening information presents the problem and then the advertiser provides solutions using attitudinal or behavioral suggestions. Threat information becomes valuable in protecting consumers from harm. Such information is unpleasant and cognitively arduous to process, but it functions effectively with the addition of humor. Advertisers add humor to create a positive surface cue that attenuates the negative thoughts and emotions and facilitate processing.
Humor makes the threatening persuasion advert more pleasant and approachable. The motivation and ability to process threatening information will depend on the level in which the consumer is involved with the threat issue. Advertisers have to be careful when using humor because it creates different effects on different consumers. Humor can have either negative or positive influence on the overall persuasion. The advertisers have to ensure that the humor effect is best suited to the target audience. Consumer psychology offers practical implications for the effective combination of humor and threat in advertising. Yoon and Tinkham (2013) use the protection motivation theory (PMT) and humor theories to explain how threat persuasion motivates change by communicating severe consequences that may arise from a high-risk-associated issue. Advertisers have to recommend changes in behavior to reduce the risks of the threat. Threat information in this case remains a crucial determinant of message effectiveness. The theory identify the primary response to a threat message is threat appraisal. The response is likely to be perceived threat and felt fear, both of which motivate the viewer to seek solutions to a problem. Threat creates arousal or tension, but this tension is not sufficient to generate laughter. Viewers must experiences a resolution that allows them to make a switch from exaggerated depiction to an implied meaning. Upon this realization, the advertiser uses humor to create a sense of relief that is known to generate pleasurable sensations and laughter.
Low involvement individuals have limited motivation and message processing capacity but might find interest when the communication message is manageable and easily comprehended. Such individuals need high impact threat information to respond and use of humor to render the message more approachable. High involvement individuals have higher levels of motivation to elaborate on relevant messages. Such individuals focus on the quality and persuasive power of the threatening information. They need strong arguments because they may perceive humor as additional information that increases intrigue or as a means of drawing their attention and facilitating elaboration. Yoon and Tinkham (2013) advise advertisers to use effective combination of humor and threat intensity for audiences of different involvement levels.
Aaker (2007) focuses on how innovation should be branded. He points out that innovation has become a core strategy for many organizations. Most firms are using innovation to ensure growth and profitability. Firms are continuously introducing new products and lowering costs of production because of innovation. Most of the researchers focus on new innovation ideas, the benefits and the necessity of innovation, how to overcome organizational barriers, and how to overcome implementation problems. However, there have been minimal discussions on how innovation should be branded despite the fact that branded innovation has immense potential to help advance a business. Branded innovation helps improve the offering by making it more differentiated and attractive. It creates a new subcategory to change what customers are buying and manage their perceptions of the subcategory. For an instant, a brand name helps make the innovation visible by providing a label. It becomes easier for consumers to recall and recognize a new offering or a branded feature or service. It becomes easier for consumers to remember a brand name than the details of an offering. A brand also makes communication more efficient and feasible.
A new product or product feature is mainly recognized by consumers through a different brand name. Most consumers differentiate new innovative products or services through new brand names or brand image. This means that organizations have to build a brand in order to own, control, and fully benefit from an innovation. According to Aaker (2007), applying a name and logo requires the support of a strategy and an actively managed brand building program. There is the risk that an innovation can fail to penetrate a marketplace and see its life shortened unless an innovation is branded. In this case, a brand name communicates about a new innovation-driven product or service to help an organization improve profits and sales.
Aaker, D. A. (2007). Innovation: brand it or lose it. California Management Review, 50(1), 8-24.
Yoon, H., & Tinkham, S. F. (2013). Humorous threat persuasion in advertising: the effects of humor, threat intensity, and issue involvement. Journal of Advertising, 42(1), 30-41.