How Naming Products can Induce Feelings of Ownership and Affect Subsequent Consumer Responses

Giving names to the products we love is a common thing practiced in many parts of the world. From things that we rely on on a daily basis – like bicycles and cars – to goods that make our homes a bit homier – like soft toys or plants – an abundance of items lend themselves to individualization by their owner.

Recently, companies like Toyota have started to leverage consumers’ infatuation with the name game by activley encouraging them to name their cars as part of a marketing campaign. And while the Swedish furniture giant IKEA is keeping the aspect of consumer individualization to product assembly, it has at least itself been assigning fancy names to their products for years. Who is not familiar with the Pax’s and Billy’s of this world?

But does naming products actually make a difference when it comes to consumer responses? And if so, why? In a recently published paper in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the authors Jennifer L. Stoner (University of North Dakota), Barbara Loken (University of Minnesota) and Ashley Stadler Blank (University of St. Thomas) explore this question. Across three experiments, they show that when consumers name their products, their evaluations of those products increase. Additionally, they find that this increase in product evaluation stems from a boost in psychological ownership consumers experience from naming. This boost in psychological ownership, is, in turn, driven by name fit and creativity – two aspects that are highly subjective and thus only of real magnitude when names are self-chosen as opposed to assigned.

Overall, their very interesting results open up a new substantive line of inquiry into the effects of naming products. More details about the research can be found by clicking [HERE].

Reference

Stoner, J. L., Loken, B. and Stadler Blank, A. (2018), The Name Game: How Naming Products Increases Psychological Ownership and Subsequent Consumer Evaluations. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28: 130-137.

 

 

 

An Update on The Science of Ownership

Dear readers,

You might have noticed that it has been rather quiet here on The Science of Ownership for the past few months. We have been occupied with a million of projects that deserve being brought to your attention.

Here is some of what has happened within the realms of ownership research in 2016 and some of what to expect in 2017. (Note that all respective references are listed in alphabetical order at the end of this post.)

Contributions to a soon-to-be-released Book on Psychological Ownership

We are happy to announce that one of our important voices of ownership, Joann Peck together with Suzanne Shu are editing an entire book on psychological ownership next year. Joann will at some point in the future hopefully be able to tell us more about when exactly the book will be launched, but being among the contributors ourselves, we already know that it features cutting-edge reviews from the likes of Jon Pierce, Ori Friedman and Colleen P. Kirk among others. As to what to expect from us: Stephan Dickert wrote a piece on ownership and economic decisions, Sophie Süssenbach and Bernadette Kamleitner wrote a piece on ownership and sustainable behaviors, and Bernadette authored another chapter on questions of psychological ownership of data with Vince Mitchell. Details about all contributions as well as the book in general will be disclosed as soon as possible, but we are certainly not lying when we say that it will be another stepping stone for the field of psychological ownership.

New Research on Ownership

This year research on ownership was present at most leading marketing and consumer research conferences. The contexts in which the concept was embedded ranged from sustainability and care for the environment to the links between specific emotions and more general affect and ownership.

For example, at the Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference in St. Pete Beach, FL in February this year, Sophie Süssenbach and Bernadette Kamleitner shared insights from their paper on the relationship between perceived environmental knowledge and ownership for the environment (for details see Süssenbach & Kamleitner 2016 at the end of this article). Antje Graul and Aristeidis Theotokis from Leeds University Business School presented work on the relationship between lay rationalism, psychological ownerhship and consumers’ participation in access-based consumption (see Graul & Theotokis 2016). Joshua Morris and Szu-chi Huang from Stanford talked about their research on expense ownership and financial decision-making (see Morris & Huang 2016). Joann Peck with her colleagues Bowen Ruan, Robin Tanner and Liangyan Wang gave a presentation on the impact of haptic roughness on psychological ownership (see Ruan et al. 2016). And Jaeyeon Chung and Gita Johar from Columbia Business School shared their work on how product ownership induced identity activation affects product (un)related task performance (Chung & Johar 2016). [CLICK] here to go directly to the SCP conference proceedings.

After sunny Florida in February came Nordic Oslo in May. There, our entire team attended the European Marketing Academy Conference to present two very early projects on ownership and emotions as well as ownership and brands (see the reference list for details). The conference program can be accessed [HERE].

On we went to the annual Association for Consumer Research (ACR) conference, which was held in beautiful Berlin, Germany in October this year. Again ownership was featured strongly in several contributions including one by us (see Kamleitner et al. 2016). For example, Matthew Hall and Xin Zhao shared their work on perpetual dispossession, in which they explore the concept of ownership without possession (see Hall & Zhao 2016). Elena Fumagelli, Luca Visconti and Kristine De Valck (see Fumagelli at al. 2016) talked about how our own body is connected to the concept of ownership. Rui Chen, Leonard Lee and Yuhuang Zheng presented a paper on the reversed endowment effect in living goods transactions (See Chen et al. 2016). And Colleen Kirk together with her colleagues Scott Swain and Joann Peck introduced situations in which psychological ownership leads to territorial responses (see Kirk et al. 2016). Further contributions were made by Friedman & Pesowski (2016) who talked about how ownerhship shapes children’s judgements, Atasoy & Morewedge (2016) who studied ownership in the context of digital and physical goods and Valsesia, Nunes and Ordanini (2016) who looked at the relationship between psychological ownership and consumer ratings.

Further Projects

In addition to this vast amount of conference presentations, there are also a number of new publications on psychological ownership that appeared this year. These include Dawkins et al. forthcoming, Hair et al. 2016, Hartley et al. 2016, Kim et al. 2016, Sinclair and Tinson 2017 and Spiekermann and Korunovska 2016 (for detailled references, please scroll down to the end of this page).

With so much work apparently in progress – a lot appears about to come out. We too have been busy finishing up papers on the topic. Without giving away too much, we can already tell you that the projects we and others are working on illuminate psychological ownership from an array of different lenses, including but not limited to the contexts of personal information, social networks, streaming, crowdfunding, and product design. We’ll make sure that you – our loyal readers – will be the first ones to know more about these projects once we can confidentially disclose more details about them. On this note, we would like to thank every single one of you who has contributed to The Science of Ownership so far and will continue to incorporate extraordinary scholars from all over the world as collaborators on our blog.

Finally, we plan to repeat the successful ownership workshop that we organized in 2013 by hosting yet another little ownership gathering in 2017. We are currently in the process of arranging everything. Mostly we will curate a highly interdisciplinary group of participants but there will also be some open spaces, so stay posted.

We are looking forward to a fantastic year 2017. May it start and end with a bang and feature lots of inspiring and fruitful [research] moments in between.

We wish all of you a Happy Holiday & a Joyful [and productive] New Year!

Yours,

The Science of Ownership Editorial Team

Featured References

Conference Presentations

Atasoy, Ozgun & Morewedge, Carey (2016). Better to Have a Book in the Hand Than Two in the Cloud: Consumer Preferences for Physical Over Digital Goods. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Chen, Rui, Lee, Leonard & Zheng, Yuhuang (2016). The Reversed Endowment Effect in Living-Goods Transactions. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Chung, Jaeyeon & Johar, Gita V (2016). The Bounded Self: Effects of Product-Ownership Induced Identity Activation on Product (Un)Related Task Performance. SCP Winter Conference, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 25.02-27.02.

Friedman, Ori, Pesowski, Madison (2016). Ownership Shapes Children’s Judgments about Material goods. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Fumagalli, Elena, Visconti, Luca M. & De Valck, Kristine (2016). To Me or Not to Me: Personal Body as Contested Ownership. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Graul, Antje & Theotokis, Aristeidis (2016). Mine is mine and yours is mine: Understanding the relationship between lay rationalism, psychological ownership and consumers’participation in access-based consumption. SCP Winter Conference, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 25.02-27.02.

Hall, Matthew & Zhao, Xin (2016). Perpetual Dispossession: An Exploration of Ownership without Possession. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Kamleitner, Bernadette and Süssenbach, Sophie and Thürridl, Carina and Ruzeviciute, Ruta (2016). The fine line between me and mine: Brand psychological ownership as a distinct and powerful construct. European Marketing Academy (EMAC), Oslo, Norway, 24.05.-27.05.

Kamleitner, Bernadette, Süssenbach, Sophie, Thürridl, Carina, Ruzeviciute, Ruta (2016). This Brand is MINE: Brand Psychological Ownership as a Distinct Construct and Powerful Driver of Consumer Behavior. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Kirk, Colleen P., Swain, Scott & Peck, Joann (2016). You Stepped on My Toes: When Does Psychological Ownership Lead to Territorial Responses? The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Morris, Joshua & Huang, Szu-chi (2016). When Your Hands Are Tied: The Impact of Expense Ownership on Financial Decisions. SCP Winter Conference, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 25.02-27.02.

Ruan, Bowen, Peck, Joann, Tanner, Robin & Wang Liangyan (2016). Grip not to Slip: How Haptic Roughness Leads to Psychological Ownership. SCP Winter Conference, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 25.02-27.02.

Süssenbach, Sophie, Kamleitner, Bernadette (2016). I know it, I own it and I care for it: How perceived environmental knowledge strengthens ownership for the environment. SCP Winter Conference, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 25.02-27.02.

Thürridl, Carina, Kamleitner, Bernadette, Dickert, Stephan, Ruzeviciute, Ruta & Süssenbach, Sophie (2016). Happy, possessive and loyal: From consumption affect to brand loyalty. European Marketing Academy (EMAC), Oslo, Norway, 24.05.-27.05.

Valsesia, Francesca, Nunes, Joseph & Ordanini, Andrea (2016). I Got Here First! Feelings of Psychological Ownership and Consumer Ratings. The Association for Consumer Research Conference (ACR) 2016, Berlin, Deutschland, 27.10.-30.10.

Journal Publications

Dawkins, Sarah, Tian, Amy Wei, Newman, Alexander & Martin, Angela (forthcoming). Psychological ownership: A review and research agenda. Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Hair, Joe F., Barth, Kati, Neubert, Doreen & Sarstedt, Marko (2016), Examining the Role of Psychological Ownership and Feedback in Customer Empowerment Strategies. Journal of Creating Value, forthcoming.

Hartley, Phillip, Sun, Jie & Raggio, Randle D (2016). Psychological ownership as a crisis management advertising appeal – antecedents, outcomes, and moderators. Journal of Marketing Communications, 1-15.

Kim, Sangmi, Kim, Seong-Gyu, Jeon, Yoonsin, Jun, Soojin & Kim, Jinwoo (2016). Appropriate or Remix? The Effects of Social Recognition and Psychological Ownership on Intention to Share in Online Communities. Human–Computer Interaction, 31 (2), 97-132.

Sinclair, Gary & Tinson, Julie (2017). Psychological ownership and music streaming consumption. Journal of Business Research, 71, 1-9.

Spiekermann, Sarah & Korunovska, Jana (2016). Towards a value theory for personal data. Journal of Information Technology.

News from the World of Ownership

We acknowledge that it has been rather quiet here on The Science of Ownership in the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, we are able to counteract this inactivity today by providing our readers with two fantastic updates:

(1) Special Section on Ownership in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

The Special Section on Ownership in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics has finally been published with the October 2015 issue (Volume 58). For the interested reader we strongly recommend a peak into the articles, which are online at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-behavioral-and-experimental-economics/recent-articles

A great introduction to the topic co-authored by the editors of this special section Bernadette Kamleitner and Stephan Dickert can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214804315000701

(2) Special Session on Psychological Ownership at ACR 2015

Together with hundreds of consumer researchers from across the globe, we traveled to the ACR Association for Consumer Research North America Conference 2015 in the beginning of October this year. Apart from enjoying New Orleans, LA, where the conference was held, we listened to lots of great presentations and talked to amazing researchers, which made it really hard to leave afterwards.

What got us really excited, though, was the chance to witness that research on psychological ownership in the consumer behavior domain is getting more visible and popular by the day. At this year’s conference, our US colleagues organized yet another symposium that focused on this topic. The special session, which was chaired by Jaeyeon Chung from Columbia Business School, particularly focused on the “Antecedents and Consequences of Psychological Ownership” and included work from names that are no strangers to the field: Joann Peck (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Suzanne Shu (UCLA), Liad Weiss (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Gita Johar (Columbia Business School), Jaeyeon Chung (Columbia Business School), Yanping Tu (University of Chicago) and Ayelet Fishbach (University of Chicago). We were lucky to be able to publish an outline of the special session including an introduction to the session as well as short abstracts of the individual talks. Thank you, Jaeyeon, for helping us out and thank you to the others who agreed to make this information available here on The Science of Ownership.

You can find all information about the special session at here.

 

Reminder: CFP on Consumer Ownership & Sharing – April 1, 2015

We would like to remind you that the submission deadline, which is April 1, 2015, for the special issue on Consumer Ownership & Sharing in the new Journal of the Association of Consumer Research is approaching fast.

The second issue of the very first volume of this brand new journal of the consumer research field is edited by non others than Russell W. Belk and Linda L. Price. Empirical and conceptual papers are sought addressing aspects and issues in the areas of ownership and sharing by consumers. All relevant theoretical perspectives and empirical methods are welcomed.

More information can be found in our Call for Papers section or by downloading the corresponding PDF right here.

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