Conference Agenda

A12: Understanding Consumer Behaviour
Thursday, 07/Mar/2019:
10:45 - 11:45

Session Chair: Lisa Dust, Facts and Stories GmbH, Germany
Location: Room 154
TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences


In search of inspiration – Exploring the product category

Sophie Vogt

KERNWERT GmbH, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

The increasing differentiation of target groups and the increased pace of product launches pose new challenges for the creatives in the communications agencies. Quantitative tests, which are often used for pitch preparations, help to gather basic market information, but there is often a lack of everyday input that brings the category and the target audiences to life - in short, non-verbal, emotional, associative input for the creation. The goal of our qualitative approach is to gain additional, inspiring insights on a specific category with the help of a short, efficient qualitative digital study in order to identify points of entry for communication and advertising initiatives.

Methods & Data:

Our qualitative "spotlight test" is a small, thematically focused and swiftly conducted study which illuminates a product category via digital diaries and creative activities.

In order to test the suitability for different topics the study will be conducted for two product categories: Smoothies and E-Scooter-Sharing. Each product category will be elaborated with 12 users and 12 non-users for 7 days. The online diary is self-documentation in text, image and video of the touchpoints with the product category (e.g. purchase, usage, preparation). Within the activities we combine associative and projective tasks with specific questions about the product group and the purchasing behavior (e.g. first contact, experiences, perception of brands, advertisement, packaging). The mix of ethnographic data and individual, uninfluenced answers allows to collect in a relatively short time holistic, diverse results that help to explore the category.


None yet. We will conduct an example study for our approach for two product categories (Smoothies and E-Scooter-Sharing), in January-February 2019.

Added Value:

This study aims to show how to explore and understand specific issues, behavior and feelings by means of a rapid and agile research design. It should also exemplify the broad fields of application of qualitative digital research, the study aims to show that qualitative digital research can be a valuable addition to traditional (quantitative) methodologies, e.g. when it comes to understanding a product category and to collect inspirational insights from the participant’s life.

Vogt-In search of inspiration – Exploring the product category-234.pdf

Believing in social proof or personal experience? - Contrasting and comparing the effect of different kinds of eWOM in online shops

Christian Bosau, Levi Meyer

Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln, Germany


In the online-marketing literature the question regarding electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is not clarified yet whether total ratings (i.e. the total mean of many users’ quantitative rating) in online shops influences the perception of customers more than a personal rating (a single subjective text-based review). Many arguments expect that the first one – representing social proof – is more powerful than the second one – representing direct personal experiences –, compared in this study for well-known branded products and their no-name counterparts.


This 2x2x2 experimental online-study (N=166, non-probability) modified indicators for social proof (total evaluation: positive vs. negative, repeated measurement) as well as direct experience (two personal reviews: positive vs. negative each, repeated measurement) for different products (branded vs. no-name mobile speakers), testing their main and interaction effect on three indicators of customer perception (product quality, buying intention, recommendation to friends). Hence, subjects (randomized assigned to branded or no-name products) assessed in total 4 products each (randomized presentation).


Not surprisingly, the implementation of the experimental design created two significant main effects: a positive total evaluation (p < .00, part. Eta2 = .49) and positive personal reviews (p < .00, part. Eta2 = .53) improved the overall perception. More interestingly – against the original hypothesis – the effect of direct experiences was even a bit higher than the influence of social proof.

As expected, besides the clear main effect of the brand factor (branded products are higher rated than no-name-products; p < .05, part. Eta2 = .03), a significant interaction effect showed (p < .05, part. Eta2 = .03) that a buffering effect can be found for branded products: they are – in direct comparison – better rated than their no-name-counterparts, if both ratings (total and personal) are negative.

Added Value:

Compared to many other simple studies before this experiment manipulated simultaneously personal ratings and the overall total evaluation and therefore was able to compare the strength of the effect sizes directly. The study shows that even a few negative personal ratings can have a strong negative effect on customers’ perception even if the overall rating is still high.

Bosau-Believing in social proof or personal experience-129.pdf

Recreational gaming – dependence and social problems as outdated concepts in a new world of gaming?

Birgit Ursula Stetina, Jan Aden, Anastasiya Bunina, Carolin Griehsler, Zuzana Kovacovsky, Reinhard Ohnutek, Armin Klaps

Sigmund Freud University, Austria

Relevance & Research Question: Discussions about problematic aspects of online gaming and the “Gaming Disorder” are again present in daily press and professional discussions because of recent changes in ICD-11. Although many experts agree that clinicians should be careful with the diagnosis the public opinion seems different. However, earlier studies already showed that only a very limited number of gamers fulfill the criteria for gaming disorder or other forms of Internet dependency with gaming genres playing a relevant role (eg Stetina et al. 2011).

Objective of the presented study was to evaluate a gender balanced sample according to their gaming routine and clinical aspects as dependency and anxiety.

Methods & Data: Using an online questionnaire 147 gamers were surveyed (female:n=66, male:n=81) in a cross-sectional design with several (clinical) scales such as IGD-20 (eg Pontes et al. 2014), SIAS (Matttick & Clarke, 1989) and SPIN (Connor et al., 2000).

Results: First of all results show that the sample includes no dependent gamer (cut-off 71). But the results show a significant difference between males and females with female gamers (M=33.33,SD=11.28) showing significantly less symptoms (T(145)=-2.561,p=.011) than men (M=38.06,SD=11.01); both groups showing no clinically relevant signs of Internet Gaming Disorder. No gender differences were found in the sum scores of the instruments measuring social anxiety (SIAS:(T(145)=-0.39,p=.694, SPIN:(T(145)=1.18,p=.239). Only 8.2% (n=12) participants, similar to the general public, show clinically relevant scores using a cut-off of 30. This percentage is slightly higher using the SPIN scores with 81.6% (n=120) of inconspicuous participants (cut-off 19). However the SPIN category “mild social phobia” has to be considers (11.6%, n=17) and therefore the instrument shows quite similar results.

Added Value: Recreational gaming is often discussed as problematic behavior, although educational and therapeutic games are on the rise. Pathologizing is not the answer. It seems that more than ever it is highly relevant to think of gaming as normal and average behavior, independent from the purpose of the game. Independent from the well-known differences between genres we should start thinking about gaming as a potential adaptive coping strategy and part of our daily lives (eg casual games).

Stetina-Recreational gaming – dependence and social problems as outdated concepts-199.pdf