Our research activities focus mainly on three topics, which are often interwoven (see graphic below). All three topics also have a sediment in our teaching program.


1. Decision Anomalies and Traits in Consumer Behavior

Studies in the research field of Decision anomalies and Consumer manipulation attempts aim at generating knowledge about consumers’ preferences and the mechanisms that trigger certain behaviors. It is well known that consumers’ preferences are not as stable as initially proposed by economic theories. Consumers do not recall a fixed utility for options under consideration from their memory when they have to choose among competing products. Often, they rather construct their preferences during product or service choice, making any judgment and preference dependent on the context of a specific decision environment. This preference construction process is additionally shaped by idiosyncratic personality traits. As the influence of environmental and contextual factors on consumers’ preferences is typically subtle, opportunities for consumer manipulation arise. Therefore, developing a nuanced understanding of these effects is important for businesses and policymakers alike.

The two main themes are:

  1. Understanding the process that drives context-dependent decision-making resulting in context effects such as the attraction and the compromise effect, and evaluating their practical relevance and reproducibility.
  2. Explaining manipulative marketing practices based on choice set composition, ambient scents, or the design of user interfaces among others.

2. Digital Market Research Techniques

With the increasing need to understand the perceptions and behaviors of consumers in the relationship marketing paradigm, we need to advance the methodological toolkit to explore corresponding phenomena. Our research in the field of digital market research techniques focuses on the development of new and evaluation of existing data collection and analysis techniques to foster our understanding of consumer behavior. Special research interest is geared toward adaptive-choice-based-conjoint and MaxDiff analysis, methods for analyzing consumers’ preferences regarding attributes of new products and services, which have gained vast prominence in business research and practice. As part of our research activities, we also explore aspects related to immersive technologies in sensory product acceptance tests or incentive alignment in market research on willingness to pay elicitation. Recent research includes:

  1. Benchmarking incentive alignment and adaptive designs via machine learning in choice-based conjoint analysis.
  2. Evaluating the usefulness of immersive consumption environments in sensory product acceptance studies within the new product development cycle.
  3. Evaluating the usefulness of anchored MaxDiff analysis in predicting new product adoption and product assortment optimization.

3. Sensory Marketing and Product Research

An appropriate framework to discuss consumers’ perception of products and external information is Sensory Marketing, a broad, but popular domain in Marketing and Consumer Psychology. In essence, Sensory Marketing can be understood as “marketing that engages the consumers' senses and affects their perception, judgment and behavior.” (Krishna, 2012, p. 332). Therewith, Sensory Marketing becomes an omnipresent topic in many marketing applications ranging from online retailing (which usually only provides limited sensory input), over customer satisfaction with their service experience, to the optimal formulation of product recipes in domains such as food and beverage, but also personal care and cosmetics industry. We mainly focus on the influence of ambient scents, quantitative methods in sensory product research, and haptic perception. Our research spans aspects such as:

  1. Influencing consumers’ experience through the application of ambient scent.
  2. Exploring the diverse effects of direct touch vs. indirect touch interface types in the consumer preference formation process.

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