Professor Rajeev Batra of Michigan Ross honored with the Distinguished Consumer Psychology Award

Professor Rajeev Batra of Michigan Ross honored with the Distinguished Consumer Psychology Award

Much of your recent research focuses on global brands and emotional advertising. What got you interested in consumer psychology from this perspective?

Overall, as a consumer researcher who uses a psychological lens, I try to get into the minds and hearts of consumers to better understand why they like and buy products, so marketers can make better decisions.

My first research series addressed the question: “How do ads lead consumers to purchase?” This was motivated by my years as a brand manager, where I wanted to better understand how consumers process advertising messages. For many years, I have studied how emotional responses elicited by advertising can play an important role. Over 10 years at the University of Michigan, I developed this research to show how advertising-evoked emotions interact more clearly with the more rational content of ads, the different types of emotions ad-evoked, how they can be accurately measured and how they shape consumers’ perceptions of brands.

Later, with the globalization of the worlds of commerce and culture in the 1980s, consumers around the world were witnessing the growth of standardized global brands to replace local brands that had been dominant for decades. In a series of research papers, my colleagues and I found that if consumers view brands as global, they assume that these brands are of higher quality, able to give buyers greater status and prestige, and that purchasing these global brands makes these consumers feel more Closer to the imagined lifestyles of consumers in the brands’ home countries. Today, as the lure of globalization seems to be receding and local brands are winning out again, this work highlights the tensions and trade-offs that exist.

How does it feel to be recognized for your contributions to the field of consumer psychology?

Well, it’s been a very long journey for me as a researcher, starting in 1982. There’s been a lot of struggle and heartbreak along the way, dealing with journals that rejected some of my papers (only about 5% of papers submitted to top marketing journals) and getting accepted. Acceptance). After all these years, I am very pleased to see that the work I have done and been able to publish has had the cumulative impact that it has had, not only among other academic researchers, but also among managers. It makes this long, arduous journey seem more worthwhile.

She previously taught courses on strategic brand management at the Ross School of Business and currently serves as a faculty supervisor at MAP. How have your experiences interacting with Michigan Ross students influenced your career as an academic?

Engaging with students in the classroom and discussing ways to build stronger brands has always helped me achieve a better balance in my research between “real world” needs and existing frameworks and concepts in the world of theory. My philosophical preference has always been to conduct the types of research that combine academic rigor with practical relevance. Although this is not always possible, it is nice to have these frequent nudges and reminders from my teaching life to get me back on this more focused middle path.

What are you currently looking for? Do you have any big projects coming up?

My recent research has addressed important aspects of brand building and management. I have focused on aspects of brand management that managers have an intuitive sense of but need more robust research to draw on. A few years ago, in collaboration with some amazing co-authors, I delved into the idea of ​​“brand love,” what it is and how brands can become more loved (not just liked). This work has had a huge impact, including among some major global brands. Then, again, with a very talented co-author team, I studied the factors that make some brands seem more “cool” than others. We now have an ongoing project with a PhD student in Portugal to see if some of the cooler factors we found can be used to make “sustainable consumption” a more cool (and therefore more adopted) behavior among consumers.

After being recognized for your work, what are some of your goals moving forward?

I have begun to incorporate many of my findings and frameworks on how to build and manage strong brands into a book manuscript to reach a broader audience outside the academic and scientific community. Even as I continue research projects on new topics that begin to interest me, one of those topics is to better understand Asian consumers and why they love what they do and buy. Especially since much of the future global growth in consumer demand will come from Asia, for example, two out of every three members of the global middle class will be from Asia by 2030! Much of our current academic research is done using Western flashes. Asian consumers are more aware of their social roles and obligations and are more religious and less secular than Western consumers. Therefore, the underlying values ​​that drive their preferences need further study. We need to understand the “psychology of the Asian consumer” better, and this is the area I have been working on recently.

(Marks for translation) College Awards

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