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
Date Written: October 1, 2011
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
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