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When less is more: Understanding consumers' responses to minimalist appeals

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-04, 09:57 authored by Wei‐Fen Chen, Jingshi Joyce Liu

Minimalism, which encourages people to live with fewer possessions, is an emerging theme in marketing communication that often appeals to the sustainable ideal of reducing consumption and waste (e.g., Patagonia's “Buy less” campaign). However, consumers' responses to this marketing approach remain under-researched. We investigate whether consumers' responses to minimalist appeals depend on their socioeconomic status. We find that consumers with lower socioeconomic status report less favorable evaluations of brands that adopt minimalist appeals, because these consumers tend to prefer quantity over quality in daily consumption—a preference that is incongruent with minimalism. This effect is moderated by the considerations of product-usage frequency: even consumers with low socioeconomic status can become more favorable toward minimalist brands if the benefit of minimalism, namely the increased usage of each product, is salient. 

Funding

College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at University of Leicester

Bayes Business School at City, University of London

History

Author affiliation

School of Business, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Psychology & Marketing

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0742-6046

eissn

1520-6793

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2023-08-04

Language

en

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