To stay or switch: breaking the habit of status quo through imagery perspective
European Journal of Marketing
Purpose: When consumers imagine themselves in various consumption scenarios, they can do so from the actor or the observer perspective. These different vantage points are known as imagery perspectives. This paper aims to investigate how imagery perspectives can influence consumers’ decisions to stay with the status quo (default option) or to switch to an alternative. Design/methodology/approach: A series of four experimental design studies were conducted in both lab and online settings to study consumers’ switching tendency and choice. The empirical testing involved products, brands and services, including cameras (Study 1), vacation hotels (Study 2), toilet paper (Study 3) and food (Study 4). Findings: The authors demonstrate that compared with actor imagery that tends to perpetuate the default product and brand choice, observer imagery increases consumers’ tendency to change and switch to new products and brands. Research limitations/implications: Due to the methods used in empirical testing, the research results may lack generalizability. Practical implications: Marketers spend a considerable amount of resources in an attempt to get consumers to switch products and brands. The results of this paper shed light on how marketers can promote switching behaviors through imagery perspective. Originality/value: The research contributes to the streams of research in mental imagery, de-biasing and status quos, which have progressed in isolation from one another to date. This research is one of the first to investigate imagery perspective in the context of choice architecture.
Saine, R., Nguyen, C., Besharat, A., & Trocchia, P. (2018). To stay or switch: breaking the habit of status quo through imagery perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 52 (9-10), 1864-1885. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-03-2016-0188