Marketing (MAR)

  Marketing Group Denise Souter  

The Chair of Marketing is focused on understanding the behavior of consumers in the marketplace and the rules of consumers’ decision-making. The goal of our empirical work is to generate innovative insights in our main research areas: Product design, brand management, service marketing, and assortment design. In our research, we follow an approach that aims to understand consumer behavior from a psychological perspective.

Furthermore, we place special emphasis on bringing the latest conceptual and methodological developments in marketing as well as our own research findings back into the classroom.

Product Design and Product Aesthetics

Product design and product aesthetics can enable companies to generate a competitive advantage. In our research, we examine how product design and aesthetics affect consumers’ buying decisions. Specifically, we investigate how the appearance of a product affects its perceived functionality and also seek to understand how companies can communicate abstract brand values and functional innovations through the design of their products.

Brands and Employees

Brands often offer a symbolic, emotional value that transcends the functional attributes of a product or service. For this reason, they are one of the most important means to differentiate a company’s products and services from those of the competition. Against this background, we examine how companies can develop and establish strong brands. In particular, we are interested in the role of employees in brand building. As such, employees frequently act as “brand ambassadors” that affect brand impressions through their behavior. Thus, we examine how companies can motivate their employees to live up to the brand promise when interacting with their customers.

Marketing and Services

The economic relevance of services has grown continuously during the last years. However, the marketing of services differs in fundamental respects from the marketing of goods. Against this background, we examine which strategies and instruments are most effective for marketing services. In particular, we aim to understand how uncertainty and risk perceptions can be reduced prior to purchase. Additionally, we investigate how the physical environment in which service delivery takes place affects consumers’ perceptions of the service.

Design of Assortments

In recent years, most companies in the B2C as well as the B2B sector have significantly expanded their assortments. As a direct result, the number of options that consumers can choose from has increased dramatically. However, consumers often find it difficult to make an efficient choice from assortments that are increasingly complex and end up feeling confused. Against this background, we examine how large product assortments can be structured to simplify consumers’ choices.