From the Commercial to the Communal: Reframing Taboo Trade-Offs in Religious and Pharmaceutical Marketing

52 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012

See all articles by A. Peter McGraw

A. Peter McGraw

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Marketing

J. Schwartz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Philip E. Tetlock

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group; University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Date Written: February 17, 2012

Abstract

Although consumers typically expect organizations to profit from marketing goods and services, they also believe that certain organizations, like those that focus on religion and health, should prioritize communal obligations. Indeed, consumers may find it morally distressing when communally-focused organizations use overtly commercial marketing strategies like rebranding or value-based pricing. We demonstrate how moral distress and consumer backlash result from such taboo trade-offs and investigate when communal-sharing rhetoric for religious and pharmaceutical marketing reduces distress. Communal justifications used by communally focused organizations are particularly effective when consumers are not closely monitoring the motives of the organization or when the product is need-based. However, communal justifications become less effective and market-pricing justifications become more effective when consumers are attuned to the persuasive intentions of the organization. Implications for consumer goals are discussed.

Suggested Citation

McGraw, A. Peter and Schwartz, J. and Tetlock, Philip E., From the Commercial to the Communal: Reframing Taboo Trade-Offs in Religious and Pharmaceutical Marketing (February 17, 2012). Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2007185

A. Peter McGraw (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

J. Schwartz

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Philip E. Tetlock

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

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