Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Roadmap for naming uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria
    Murray, Alison E. ; Freudenstein, John ; Gribaldo, Simonetta ; Hatzenpichler, Roland ; Hugenholtz, Philip ; Kämpfer, Peter ; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T. ; Lane, Christopher E. ; Papke, R.T. ; Parks, Donovan H. ; Rossello-Mora, Ramon ; Stott, Matthew B. ; Sutcliffe, Iain C. ; Thrash, J.C. ; Venter, Stephanus N. ; Whitman, William B. ; Acinas, Silvia G. ; Amann, Rudolf I. ; Anantharaman, Karthik ; Armengaud, Jean ; Baker, Brett J. ; Barco, Roman A. ; Bode, Helge B. ; Boyd, Eric S. ; Brady, Carrie L. ; Carini, Paul ; Chain, Patrick S.G. ; Colman, Daniel R. ; DeAngelis, Kristen M. ; Rios, Maria Asuncion de los; Estrada-de los Santos, Paulina ; Dunlap, Christopher A. ; Eisen, Jonathan A. ; Emerson, David ; Ettema, Thijs J.G. ; Eveillard, Damien ; Girguis, Peter R. ; Hentschel, Ute ; Hollibaugh, James T. ; Hug, Laura A. ; Inskeep, William P. ; Ivanova, Elena P. ; Klenk, Hans Peter ; Li, Wen Jun ; Lloyd, Karen G. ; Löffler, Frank E. ; Makhalanyane, Thulani P. ; Moser, Duane P. ; Nunoura, Takuro ; Palmer, Marike ; Parro, Victor ; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos ; Probst, Alexander J. ; Smits, Theo H.M. ; Steen, Andrew D. ; Steenkamp, Emma T. ; Spang, Anja ; Stewart, Frank J. ; Tiedje, James M. ; Vandamme, Peter ; Wagner, Michael ; Wang, Feng Ping ; Hedlund, Brian P. ; Reysenbach, Anna Louise - \ 2020
    Nature Microbiology 5 (2020). - ISSN 2058-5276 - p. 987 - 994.

    The assembly of single-amplified genomes (SAGs) and metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) has led to a surge in genome-based discoveries of members affiliated with Archaea and Bacteria, bringing with it a need to develop guidelines for nomenclature of uncultivated microorganisms. The International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) only recognizes cultures as ‘type material’, thereby preventing the naming of uncultivated organisms. In this Consensus Statement, we propose two potential paths to solve this nomenclatural conundrum. One option is the adoption of previously proposed modifications to the ICNP to recognize DNA sequences as acceptable type material; the other option creates a nomenclatural code for uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria that could eventually be merged with the ICNP in the future. Regardless of the path taken, we believe that action is needed now within the scientific community to develop consistent rules for nomenclature of uncultivated taxa in order to provide clarity and stability, and to effectively communicate microbial diversity.

    Consumer response to packaging design: the role of packaging materials and visuals in sustainability perceptions and product judgments
    Steenis, N.D. ; Herpen, E. van; Lans, I.A. van der; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2016
    - p. 87 - 89.
    Introduction This research investigates whether and how different packaging materials and visual designs influence consumers’ perceptions of the packaged product, and how these relate to overall product attitudes. Specific attention is paid to consumer sustainability perceptions, a topic that has garnered increasing managerial and policy-level attention, but that has been left relatively under-represented in marketing research. Previous research on consumer response to packaging has focused chiefly on packaging visuals and verbal elements (labelling) on the packaging (e.g., Celhay & Trinquecoste, 2015; Magnier & Schoormans, 2015), branding effects (e.g., Underwood, 2003; Underwood & Klein, 2002) and holistic design factors (e.g., Orth & Malkewitz, 2008). We aim to contribute to this literature by examining consumer response to packaging materials, which are crucial for the sustainability of a package. Building on theories of cue acquisition and integration (Olson, 1978; Rao & Monroe, 1989; Steenkamp, 1990), we examine the role of packaging design in (i) consumer cue acquisition and perception, (ii) consumer inferences of (expected) packaged product benefits and (iii) overall attitudes towards the packaged product. In this view, we consider the packaging as providing a series of cues which consumers can perceive and interpret to make inferences about the product’s expected benefits, as a basis to inform their overall attitudes towards these products. Empirical study We conducted an empirical study among 249 Dutch students. Stimuli consisted of 14 soup packages constructed from 7 material types (glass jar, bioplastic pot, liquid carton, dry carton and bag, plastic pouch, mixed material pouch consisting of plastic with carton wrapping, can) and two visual schemes (designed to be conventional-looking vs. sustainable-looking). We used an idiosyncratic method of attribute elicitation (based on triadic sorting) that does not impose predefined criteria, but that allows respondents to freely use their own criteria. Specifically, respondents were presented with seven triads of differently packaged soup products and gave short descriptions of their perceptions of these packaged products using their own words. Respondents then profiled each packaged product by indicating the extent to which each of their own descriptions applied to the product, following a “check all that apply” format. Lastly, respondents rated each product on a set of product benefits (i.e., sustainability, convenience, healthiness, naturalness, taste, inexpensive price and quality), obtained from literature, and overall attitude. Based on a content analysis we categorized 3224 elicited descriptions (cue perceptions) into 28 cue perception categories. Notably, we find a high convergence between respondents own descriptions and the benefit dimensions; each benefit was represented by a corresponding category obtained from elicitation. To provide support for this, multilevel regressions were out carried using the 28 elicitation categories as predictors for the benefits. These regressions indeed show high convergence (all p’s <0.0001) between the elicitation categories and benefits that were deemed similar. This supports the contention that consumers use packaging cues to infer about relevant benefits – including both sustainability of product and package. Other relevant spontaneous perceptions that were related to benefit dimensions included in particular transparency, packaging flexibility, modernity (vs. traditional), luxuriousness, product preservability and contents per package. These results are also displayed on a perceptual map based on clustering of dominant score patterns. Visual and material packaging designs significantly contributed to perceived benefits. Visuals most strongly affected perceptions of naturalness (F(1, 248) = 42.511 , p <0.0001, η(_p^2) = 0.146) and sustainability (F(1, 248) = 27.297, p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .099) - even though from an objective point of view the product is not affected. Materials affected most strongly (perceived) packaging sustainability (F(5, 1221) = 38.236, p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .134), but we also find medium-sized effects on overall sustainability, healthiness, naturalness, taste, price and quality. Differences in packaging materials have consequences for perceived environmental impacts, but are also associated with different benefit perceptions beyond sustainability, such as price (F(5, 1305) = 19.053 , p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .071) and can “spill over” towards intrinsic product benefits such as taste (F(5, 1163) = 28.386 , p <.001, η(_p^2) = .103) and healthiness (F(5, 1159) = 25.604 , p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .094). A separate regression showed that all benefit dimensions, in turn, were relevant to consumers’ overall attitude towards the packaged products (p’s <0.05). Discussion Sustainability can be signalled to consumers using both visual and structural aspects of packaging design. Although actual environmental impacts of the packaging likely are a consequence of the packaging’s structural elements, they also affect a wide range of other benefits (e.g., price, convenience), including perceptions of intrinsic product elements (taste, healthiness). Whether more sustainable packaging design is desirable from a managerial perspective will depend to a large extent on product positioning. This is especially relevant for those brands and products that may be harmed in light of more sustainable positioning, (Luchs, Brower, & Chitturi, 2012; Luchs, Walker Naylor, Irwin, & Raghunathan, 2010). We showed how consumers rely on their intuitions when they are confronted with products differing in packaging design to form inferences about product benefits used to assess the product, and that altering packaging sustainability can change how the packaged product is perceived as a whole.
    Consumer-oriented new product development: principles and practice
    Trijp, J.C.M. van; Steenkamp, J.B.E.M. - \ 2005
    In: Innovation in Agri-Food systems / Jongen, W.M.F., Meulenberg, M.T.G., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789076998657 - p. 87 - 125.
    Country-of-origin effects in consumer processing of advertising claims
    Verlegh, P.W.J. ; Steenkamp, J.B.E.M. ; Meulenberg, M.T.G. - \ 2005
    International Journal of Research in Marketing 22 (2005)2. - ISSN 0167-8116 - p. 127 - 139.
    product evaluations - image - perceptions - attitudes - construct - impact
    We propose that country of origin has a dual impact on product evaluations, acting as informational cue, but also as source variable, moderating the impact of ads on product evaluations. In support, we find a direct effect of country of origin on product evaluations, and a three-way interaction between country of origin, claim favorability and ad involvement. Further analyses show that country of origin influences the way in which consumers respond to moderate and extreme claims under conditions of low and high ad involvement. The dual impact of country of origin on consumer behavior emphasizes its relevance to (international) marketing
    Consumer response to innovative products : with application to foods
    Michaut, A.M.K. - \ 2004
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp; J.B.E.M. Steenkamp. - Wageningen : S.n. - ISBN 9789085040248 - 148
    nieuwe producten - innovaties - voedingsmiddelen - consumentengedrag - voedselacceptatie - voedselvoorkeuren - marketing van voedingsmiddelen - new products - food acceptability - innovations - foods - consumer behaviour - food preferences - food marketing
    This thesis aims at gaining a deeper understanding of how consumers perceive product newness and how perceived newness affects the market success of new product introductions. It builds on theories in psychology that identified "collative" variables closely associated with newness perceptions on the part of the consumer. AIso, it explores the effect of newness on market success after one year and the pattem of market success during that time period.

    It is hypothesized that perceived newness is a two-dimensional (rather than unitary) construct and that its two dimensions, (1) mere perception of newness and (2) perceived complexity, have different effects on product liking and market success over time. Consistent with our hypotheses, product liking linearly decreases with perceived complexity and cross section analysis reveals the same relationship with market success after one year. The hypothesized inverted-U shaped relationship does not hold in the case of product liking as it linearly increases with perceived incongruity (i.e. mere newness perception). In contrast, and consistent with our hypothesis, cross section analysis reveals an inverted-U relationship between perceived incongruity and market success after one year. Over time, the keyfindingsfrom this work emphasize that high perceived product complexity is a disadvantage to new product success in the short run. However, market success of complex products increases over time once initial rejection is overcome (i.e. learning to like). In addition, the mere perception of newness does not appear to have a significant effect on the shape of the diffusion curve. Finally, for a given product, qualitative comparisons between countries suggest that incongruity and complexity may differentially participate to overall newness and therefore affect liking.Overall, the thesis reveals the importance of considering product newness as a two­dimensional construct since each of these dimensions brings in key information to explain consumers' response to innovative products.

    Quoi de neuf? Une approche Pluridimensionnelle de la notion de nouveauté
    Michaut, A.M.K. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. - \ 2002
    In: Proceedings XVIII Congrès International de l'Association Française de Marketing, Lille, France, 23-24 May 2002. - [S.l.] : [s.n.], 2002 - p. 281 - 293.
    Dimensions of product newness and their differential effect on market success
    Michaut, A.M.K. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. - \ 2002
    In: Proceedings of the 31st EMAC Conference, Braga, Portugal, 28-31 May 2002 / Farhangmehr, M., Braga : University of Minho
    What's new? A multi-dimensional approach to product newness
    Michaut, A.M.K. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2001
    In: European Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 5 / A.Groeppel - Klein and F.-R. Esch (ed.). - Proceedings of the E-ACR conference, Berlin, Germany, 20-23 June . - [S.l.] : [s.n.], 2001 - p. 15 - 15.
    Country-of-origin effects on consumer product evaluations
    Verlegh, P.W.J. - \ 2001
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M.T.G. Meulenberg; J.E.B.M. Steenkamp. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058084637 - 136
    producten - consumenten - consumentengedrag - houding van consumenten - oorsprong - landen - evaluatie - products - consumer attitudes - consumers - consumer behaviour - evaluation - origin - countries

    This thesis intends to provide a better understanding of the influence of country of origin on consumers' product evaluations. The first chapter explains why consumers attach importance to the country of origin of products. Next to "made in …" labels, there are various ways in which products can be linked to a country of origin. Brand names, advertising and packaging may be used to make explicit and implicit references to a country. The apparent relevance of country of origin has given rise to a large number of studies that investigate its effect on consumer behavior. Chapter two presents a review and meta-analysis of prior research in this area. A literature review provides first insights into the different ways in which country of origin affects consumers' product judgements. In addition, the meta-analysis establishes a number of empirical generalizations with regard to the country-of-origin effect. Most importantly, this meta-analysis shows that country of origin has a substantial and pervasive effect on consumers. Chapter two reviews a large number of studies that have investigated the country-of-origin effect in various different settings. In doing so, it also highlights several gaps within our knowledge of this issue. The concluding section of this chapter presents an outline that structures the research in this thesis, and identifies the contributions and themes of the individual studies described in chapters three, four, and five. Each chapter provides an introduction to the issues at hand, and offers a theoretical framework or rationale. Hypotheses are developed and tested, and the study's findings are discussed and placed into a larger context.

    Chapter three is focused on consumers' evaluations of domestic versus foreign products. In general it has been found that consumers are biased positively toward products from their own country, a phenomenon that is referred to as "home country bias". Chapter three examines two personality variables that relate to distinct motives for home country bias. The first variable is consumer ethnocentrism, which reflects consumers' desire to protect domestic economy and employment. The second is national identification, which relates to the desire for a positive national identity, created by the need for a positive evaluation of private and social selves. To our knowledge, the role of national identification in home country bias has not yet been examined in the marketing literature. Although there is a positive relationship between national identification and consumer ethnocentrism, the study shows that these constructs have independent positive effects on consumers' willingness to buy domestic products in different product categories. The study offers limited support for negative effects of national identification and consumer ethnocentrism on willingness to buy foreign products.

    Chapter four goes beyond the distinction between foreign and domestic products, and presents a conceptual model that is primarily focused on the antecedents of consumers' attitudes and beliefs toward products from different countries. These antecedents include consumers' prior experience with a country's products within a category, but also country images, viz., consumers' cognitions and feelings about a country. The cognitive component of country images includes geographic factors (climate and natural landscape), and human factors (competence and creativity). A given component of country image can have different effects on evaluations of different products. The geographic component of country images influences consumers' beliefs toward food products from different countries, but does not affect beliefs toward technology-based consumer durables. Perceived competence influences beliefs toward technology-based consumer durables, but not beliefs toward foods.

    Furthermore, it is shown that positive and negative feelings toward a country have a significant influence on consumers' beliefs toward the country's products. The study in chapter four is the first to show how the impact of feelings on product evaluations is not limited to extreme cases of animosity or admiration. Chapter four also extends the findings on home country bias that were obtained in the study described in chapter three. National identification is found to have a positive influence on consumers' image of domestic countries, and this is mirrored by a negative influence on consumers' image of foreign countries. These relationships mediate most of the impact of national identification on product evaluations.

    Chapter five deals with interactions between country of origin and other product information. This issue is examined in the context of advertising. It is proposed that country of origin influences consumers' product evaluations in two ways: as an informational variable, and as a source variable. With regard to the former, we propose that a general image of a country's products within a category is used as information when consumers evaluate a product that is presented in an ad (or otherwise). As a source variable, country of origin affects consumers' evaluation of advertising claims. When consumers have an unfavorable image of a country's products, this country will have less credibility as a source for advertising claims, especially when these claims are extremely favorable. The consequences of this depend on the level of message involvement. When involvement is low, extremely favorable claims are more persuasive than moderately favorable claims. Higher levels of involvement result in greater persuasiveness of moderately favorable claims. Extremely favorable claims however, are less persuasive with increased involvement, although such claims are not significantly less effective than moderately favorable claims.

    Marketers can use country of origin in the positioning of their products, for example by linking a product to relevant characteristics of the origin country. It should be noted that consumers use country of origin not only as a piece of information in itself, but also as a source of other product information. In advertising, the source credibility of country of origin moderates the influence of advertising claims on product evaluations. Marketers choosing to emphasize country of origin should acknowledge the existence of home country bias. In domestic markets, this bias would of course be beneficial, but in foreign markets care should be taken to minimize psychological resistance to foreign products. It might be beneficial to develop different positioning strategies for segments that differ in the strength of consumer ethnocentrism and national identification, as these variables determine the strength of home country bias.

    On the Use of Structural Equation Models in Marketing Modeling
    Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Baumgartner, H. - \ 2000
    International Journal of Research in Marketing 17 (2000)2-3. - ISSN 0167-8116 - p. 195 - 202.
    We reflect on the role of structural equation modeling (SEM) in marketing modeling and managerial decision making. We discuss some benefits provided by SEM and alert marketing modelers to several recent developments in SEM in three areas: measurement analysis, analysis of cross-sectional data, and analysis of longitudinal data.
    The Role of Farmers' Behavioral Attitudes and Heterogeneity in Futures Contracts Usage
    Pennings, J.M.E. ; Leuthold, R.M. - \ 2000
    American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82 (2000)4. - ISSN 0002-9092 - p. 908 - 919.
    The authors are grateful for the generous participation of the 440 farmers in the personal computer-assisted interviews. Financial support provided by the Amsterdam Exchanges (AEX), Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Foundation for Research in Agricultural Derivatives, the Office for Futures and Options Research, and the Niels Stensen Foundation made it possible to conduct the large-scale interview. The authors would like to thank J.A. Bijkerk for building a user-friendly interface for the computer-assisted personal interviews. The authors express special thanks to W. Brorsen, M. Candel, C. Ennew, P. Garcia, F. ter Hofstede, S. Irwin, M.T.G. Meulenberg, M. Rockinger, F. Verhees, A. Smidts, J-B.E.M. Steenkamp, B. Wierenga and the participants of the 1999 NCR-134 meeting held at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for helpful comments on the research project and preliminary versions of this manuscript.
    Economic and Social Satisfaction : Measurement and Relevance to Marketing Channel Relationships
    Geyskens, I. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. - \ 2000
    Journal of Retailing 76 (2000). - ISSN 0022-4359 - p. 1 - 32.
    We demonstrate the critical need to recognize the presence of two different types of satisfaction for effective channel governance—economic satisfaction, that is, a channel member’s evaluation of the economic outcomes that flow from the relationship with its partner, and social satisfaction, a channel member’s evaluation of the personal contacts and interactions with its exchange partner. Measurement instruments permitting channel researchers to make the distinction between economic and social satisfaction are developed and tested. We provide evidence on the relevance of this distinction by showing that the two types of satisfaction occupy unique positions in a nomological network, as determined by differential relations with partner’s use of power and responses to channel relationship problems. The implications of these differences in effects are discussed and indicate that channel managers should be aware of the kind of satisfaction they are fostering in their channel counterparts.
    Effects of Brand Local/Non-Local Origin on Consumer Attitudes in Developing Countries
    Batra, R. ; Ramaswamy, V. ; Alden, D.L. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Ramachander, S. - \ 2000
    Journal of Consumer Psychology 9 (2000). - ISSN 1057-7408 - p. 83 - 95.
    Productoordeel en Landenimago. Product judgement and country image
    Verlegh, P.W.J. ; Meulenberg, M.T.G. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. - \ 1999
    Wageningen : Wageningen Universiteit Pers - 29 p.
    A Review and Meta-Analysis of Country-of-Origin Research
    Verlegh, P.W.J. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. - \ 1999
    Journal of Economic Psychology 20 (1999)5. - ISSN 0167-4870 - p. 521 - 546.
    Despite a large body of research, country-of-origin effects are still poorly understood. Combining the strengths of a narrative review with those of a quantitative meta-analysis, our study seeks to establish a firm grounding for country-of-origin research. We review previous country-of-origin research, focusing on cognitive, affective, and normative aspects of country of origin. In a quantitative meta-analysis, we assess the magnitude of country-of-origin effects on three types of product evaluations, viz., perceived quality, attitude, and purchase intention. In addition, we develop and test hypotheses concerning the role of economic development, the impact of multi-national production, differences between consumers and industrial purchasers, and a number of methodological aspects. We find that country of origin has a larger effect on perceived quality than on attitude toward the product or purchase intention. We also find that differences in economic development are an important factor underlying the country-of-origin effect. The country-of-origin effect does not differ between industrial and consumer purchasing, nor is it affected by multi-national production. We conclude with suggestions for future research on the country-of-origin effect. Specifically, more research is needed on the symbolic and emotional aspects of country of origin, and on the role of competitive context.
    International Market Segmentation Based on Consumer-Product Relations
    Hofstede, F. ter; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Wedel, M. - \ 1999
    Journal of Marketing Research 36 (1999)February. - ISSN 0022-2437 - p. 1 - 17.
    Essays in international market segmentation
    Hofstede, F. ter - \ 1999
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): J.E.B.M. Steenkamp; M. Wedel. - S.l. : Ter Hofstede - ISBN 9789058080646 - 178
    marktsegmentatie - marketing - marketingtechnieken - wereld - market segmentation - marketing - marketing techniques - world - cum laude

    The primary objective of this thesis is to develop and validate new methodologies to improve the effectiveness of international segmentation strategies. The current status of international market segmentation research is reviewed in an introductory chapter, which provided a number of methodological and substantive issues that need further attention. These issues are critically assessed and methodologies are developed as potential solutions.

    In chapter 1, previous research in international segmentation is classified according to three dimensions depicted in Figure 1. In the figure, the first dimension relates to the segmentation basis, the second to segmentation objects, and the third to segmentation methodology. All three dimensions affect the effectiveness of international segmentation strategies. Two key research directions for improving the effectiveness of international segmentation were formulated along these dimensions.

    The first direction concerns the integration of targeted product and communication strategies by linking product-specific bases with general consumer-level bases. A new methodology is developed to identify cross-national market segments using means-end chain theory. Based on theory founded in consumer behavior, the means-end chain links values (a general consumer-level basis) with benefits and attributes (product-specific bases).

    Figure 1
    Figure 1
    Three dimensions of international segmentation

    Such an approach has the potential to combine product development and communication strategies at the international segment level and may serve as a guiding principle for international marketers to tailor products and advertising messages to the desires of global consumer segments. Chapter 4 provides a model-based methodology for identifying such segments. An international segmentation model was developed that estimates relations between product attributes, benefits of product use, and consumer values at the international segment level, and at the same time identifies those segments. The model builds upon methodological issues that were addressed in chapters 2 and 3 and rests on mixture methodology that, due to its capability of deriving segments based on models of consumer behavior, is particularly effective. In particular, it accounts for the international sampling design and the heterogeneity of response tendencies across countries and consumers.

    The segmentation model was applied to identify segments in the European yogurt market, using a large sample of European consumers. Four segments were identified, of which one was truly pan-European and the other segments were cross-national. The segments were found to represent distinctive means-end structures and the pattern of links between attributes, benefits, and values gave rise to strategic implications with respect to product development and communication. The segments were found to be related to socio-demographics, consumption patterns, media consumption, and personality data, which contributes to the identifiability and accessibility of the segments. The results suggest that the proposed model-based international segmentation methodology, combining product- and consumer-level bases, has the potential to identify segments of consumers in different countries that are actionable towards product development and advertising strategy.

    In chapter 5, a different direction is proposed that seeks to improve the effectiveness of international target market selection of expanding companies, by improving the geographic configuration of segments. Whereas consumer segments are more responsive, their typical geographic configuration does not make them accessible with cost efficient logistic operations. Especially if physical distribution represents a major component of total production and marketing costs, it is important that a geographic segment defines one particular area as opposed to dispersed segments that may arise in previous segmentation approaches. A flexible model-based segmentation approach is developed that identifies contiguous geographic segments based on consumer-level data. The model is based on multi-attribute theory of preference formation and accommodates a broad set of strategic restrictions on the segments. Moreover, the model accounts for heterogeneity that is likely to exist within geographic segments.

    The methodology is illustrated in the international retailing domain, where geographic expansion is an important strategy to attain growth. Based on the importance that consumers attach to different attributes of store image, five geographic segments were identified across regions in seven countries of the European Union. The segments were distinctive in terms of their patterns of image attribute importances, which provides opportunities for expanding retailers to delineate geographic areas to enter and to develop an appropriate image in such areas. The results also demonstrated the accessibility of the segments through advertising media and logistics. In addition, no significant differences were found between the original model and a nested model that does not take the contiguity into account. This means that the actionability of restricting segments to be contiguous does not substantially harm the responsiveness of these segments.

    Given the often limited rigor of statistical and measurement techniques applied in the area of international segmentation, special attention has been given to methodological issues. Several issues were addressed that may negatively affect international segmentation research findings and methods were developed to deal with these issues.

    The first issue concerns the segmentation method . International segmentation research demonstrates an excessive reliance on heuristic segmentation techniques, such as cluster analysis. These techniques provide limited flexibility for international segmentation and may not be very effective in recovering response-based segments. The international segmentation methodologies developed in this thesis are model based and rely on insights from state of the art statistical techniques such as mixture and hierarchical Bayes models. Three international segmentation models are described in chapters 2, 4, and 5, and are successfully applied to empirical data. Chapter 5 provided a Bayesian formulation of a new international segmentation model that accommodates within-segment heterogeneity and complex restrictions on the configuration of segments. In chapter 4 it is empirically shown that a new mixture model approach outperforms standard clustering approaches that are traditionally employed in international segmentation.

    A second methodological issue is related to the estimation of international segmentation models. The importance of international sampling designs had not been acknowledged in the literature on international segmentation and mixture modeling. Previous international segmentation studies did not account for the implicit stratified sampling designs encountered in cross-national data collection. In this thesis the effects of international sampling designs on maximum likelihood estimation of segmentation models are investigated and a framework for accommodating those effects is proposed. A pseudo maximum likelihood procedure is introduced that accommodates complex sample designs for maximum likelihood estimation of finite mixture models. In addition, modified or pseudo-information criteria are suggested for correct estimation of the number of international segments.

    The effects of not accounting for the sampling design were empirically assessed in an international value segmentation study. The pseudo-maximum likelihood approach was compared to standard maximum likelihood estimation that does not account for the sampling design. The results show that the estimates of segment sizes and segment-level parameters may be severely biased when not accounting for the design in standard maximum likelihood estimation. In addition, the empirical application demonstrated that the use of standard information criteria leads to incorrect inferences about the number of segments. This means that standard estimation methods in international segmentation research may lead to incorrect conclusions and erroneous managerial action.

    The international segmentation methodology in chapter 4 was based on MEC theory. The traditional measurement technique for means-end chains (laddering) is not suitable for international segmentation. A necessary condition for the validity of international segments is that the basis for segmentation is measured in a valid and reliable way. Measurement instruments should allow collecting large and representative samples and standardization across countries. In this thesis a MEC measurement technique is developed that meets those criteria. The technique is denoted as the association pattern technique (APT), and its validity is further assessed. Two key issues were investigated that may hamper the validity of APT. First, APT implicitly assumes that attribute-benefit and benefit-value links are independent because it measures these links in two separate tasks. The second issue is the convergent validity of APT as compared to the more traditional laddering interview. Consistent support for independence of attribute-benefit and benefit-value links was found across four product categories. Statistical tests of convergent validity of APT and laddering demonstrated that the basic structure revealed by both methods is similar. This suggests that APT is valid for measuring means-end chains and can be used for identifying international consumer segments. The APT method is successfully applied in an international segmentation study in 11 countries.

    The final methodological issue addressed in this thesis is related to response tendencies , which may hamper the identification of cross-national segments. The APT method may be prone to a respondent's propensity to choose any link. Therefore, the international segmentation model in chapter 4 accounted for differences in those tendencies that may exist between respondents. Based on item response theory, a response threshold approach was developed that allows testing those differences between countries, but also within countries. The results demonstrated that the differences in response tendencies were significant between countries, but also within countries. This means that it is important to account for response tendencies in international segmentation but in domestic segmentation as well.

    A Cross-National Investigation into the Individual and Cultural Antecedents of Consumer Innovativeness
    Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Hofstede, F. ter; Wedel, M. - \ 1999
    Journal of Marketing 63 (1999)2. - ISSN 0022-2429 - p. 55 - 69.
    The authors examine antecedents of consumer innovativeness in a cross-national context. They propose a framework that distinguishes individual difference variables and national cultural variables. Two types of individual difference variables are considered: personal values and consumer-context-specific dispositions. The authors develop hypotheses pertaining to the main effects of the variables and their interactions and test them on data collected from 3283 consumers in 11 countries of the European Union. The empirical results are broadly supportive of the hypotheses. The cross-national data used in this study provide a strong test of the generalizability of the findings.
    Generalizations About Satisfaction in Marketing Channel Relationships Using Meta-Analysis
    Geyskens, I. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Kumar, N. - \ 1999
    Journal of Marketing Research 36 (1999)May. - ISSN 0022-2437 - p. 223 - 238.
    Brand Equity, Consumer Learning, and Choice
    Erdem, T. ; Swait, J. ; Broniarczyk, S. ; Chakravarti, D. ; Kapferer, J.N. ; Keane, M. ; Roberts, J. ; Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. ; Zettelmeyer, F. - \ 1999
    Marketing Letters 10 (1999)3. - ISSN 0923-0645 - p. 301 - 318.
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