Warm Glow or Cold, Hard Cash? Social Identity Effects on Consumer Choice for Donation versus Discount Promotions

Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 48, No. 5, pp. 855-868, 2011

14 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 18 May 2014

See all articles by Karen Page Winterich

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Michael Barone

University of Louisville - Department of Marketing

Date Written: October 1, 2011

Abstract

Across five studies, the authors investigate how social identification influences consumer preference for discount-based promotions (i.e., cents-off deals) versus donation-based promotions (in which purchase results in a donation to a charitable cause). In doing so, they demonstrate the interplay between self-construal and a specific social identity (i.e., that associated with the particular charity featured in a donation-based promotion) on consumers’ preferences for these two types of promotions. Results show that consumers possessing interdependent self-construals generally prefer donations to a greater extent than do those with independent self-construals. However, the findings further indicate that these effects of self-construal are attenuated if (1) the donation-based promotion does not involve a charity that is identity-congruent or (2) a cause-congruent identity is more salient than self-construal at the time of decision making. The authors also identify boundary conditions of charity efficiency and product type for these self-construal effects. In addition to demonstrating how multiple identities interact to influence consumer promotion preferences, important managerial implications regarding the use of discount versus donation-based promotions are discussed.

Keywords: promotions, donations, self-construal, identity, cause-related

Suggested Citation

Winterich, Karen Page and Barone, Michael, Warm Glow or Cold, Hard Cash? Social Identity Effects on Consumer Choice for Donation versus Discount Promotions (October 1, 2011). Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 48, No. 5, pp. 855-868, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1998767

Karen Page Winterich (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Michael Barone

University of Louisville - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

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