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Do Death Thoughts Influence the Choice of Brand Loyalty Program? A Case of Lebanon: An Abstract

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Marketing Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Global Marketplace (AMSAC 2019)

Abstract

Terror management theory (TMT) underlines the repercussions of death-related thoughts on consumers’ decisions in everyday life. More specifically, TMT suggests that a reminder of one’s own death or mortality salience (MS) is likely to make people defend their cultural worldview and boost their self-esteem by favouring materialism. Indeed, prior research corroborates that individuals consume more in their defence against MS, which also amplifies their materialistic tendencies. However, an empirical exploration on the relationship between TMT and materialism, especially in a Middle Eastern context, seems almost non-existent. To fulfil this research gap, we conducted research in Lebanon with a mixed approach. First, focus groups were conducted. Perhaps due to its critical geopolitical location and history in the region, our findings suggest that there is a preference for experiential rather than materialistic consumption under MS in the short term. Research on experiential consumption shows that people prefer experiences to material purchases in the distant future, and that the social context of the experience shapes its attractiveness. Second, we carried out an experiment, positing that MS may induce more experiential consumption, rather than materialistic consumption, particularly in the near future, in a brand loyalty setting. Results show that individuals under MS choose to redeem accumulated loyalty points for experiential rather than materialistic rewards in the near future, and particularly when these experiences are solitary. Marketers and advertisers could capitalize on our findings by tailoring their brand’s loyalty programs and rewards to appeal to such underlying individual motives.

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Acknowledgement

This research is supported by the Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation Research Grant 2017-2019.

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Correspondence to Shintaro Okazaki .

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Fawaz, R., Okazaki, S. (2020). Do Death Thoughts Influence the Choice of Brand Loyalty Program? A Case of Lebanon: An Abstract. In: Wu, S., Pantoja, F., Krey, N. (eds) Marketing Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Global Marketplace. AMSAC 2019. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39165-2_78

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