Date: 7 December 2021, Tuesday
‘When and Why Products for Underserved Consumers Backfire ‘
University of South Carolina
***This is an online event. To obtain Zoom link and password, please contact to the department.
Abstract: As consumer demand for creating and embracing an inclusive marketplace increases, strategies that over-generalize the needs of different consumer groups are no longer viable. As a result of this change in the marketplace, many brands and companies have begun offering products that accommodate the specific needs of historically underserved consumers (e.g., people of color, women). How should these products be promoted to appeal to these previously underserved consumers? While prior research suggests that consumers will favor products with more explicit descriptions of the target consumer because doing so makes the targeted identity salient, I find that explicitly identifying underserved consumers as the target consumer (i.e., blatant targeting) can backfire because doing so can raise suspicions toward the targeting effort. In turn, these heightened suspicions negatively impact assessments of the company’s intentions and ultimately evaluations of the product.