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Current Issue

Vol. 59 No. 5, 2017

Editorial
Peter Mouncey pp. 541–550 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey previews the articles in volume 59(5) of IJMR, covering topics including the linguistic properties of luxury brand names, the use of sliders and radio buttons in online surveys, typologies of Chinese consumers of imported wine, predicting technological diffusion and measuring the value of university experience. Peter also writes about the forum section on assessing the optimum length for an internet panel survey and the viewpoint section on the market research industry’s ‘Kodak’ moment. He discusses the IJMR Lecture on opinion polls and the Social Research Association Summer Event 2017, Where now for the random probability survey?
Published 26 September 2017

Response to ‘Rating places: a statistical exploration'
Richard Webber pp. 551–552 [Download PDF]
This letter presents a response the article, ‘Rating places: a statistical exploration’ by Ron Johnston in IJMR 59(5). The author argues that Johnston does exceptional work in addressing how best to structure data variables to construct composite indices but overlooks the meaning and purpose of league tables. Indicators often don’t indicate what their advocates assume, the proportion of people married in an area is as much an indicator of housing type as of well-being, for example. Rankings of place should first define what the purpose of the ranking is and be granular with their indicators, and not generalise the results.
Published 26 September 2017

Reflections on the future of the market research industry: is market research having its ‘Kodak moment’?
Daniel Nunan pp. 553–556 [Download PDF]
In this viewpoint, the author argues there are parallels between Kodak’s inability to take advantage of the shift from print to digital and the current state of the market research industry. He warns that market researchers may double down on the client/agency business model but this is wrong as it would lead to financial decline. Market research is already too dependent on other sources of data collection, like Facebook and Google. There should be a shift away from the term market research, a use of sector expertise to address issues around ethics and there should be an openness to firms of all types who have a stake in making sure that ‘evidence matters’.
Published 26 September 2017

Forum: Ideal and maximum length for a web survey
Melanie Revilla and Carlos Ochoa pp. 557–566 [Download PDF]
This paper aims to discover 'How long can/should a survey be?' by asking the question to respondents themselves in a web survey implemented by the Netquest fieldwork company in Mexico in 2016. It is a question that is frequently asked, even if research has already been carried out on the impact of survey length on non-response or data quality. The study conducted for this paper concluded that the ideal survey length is a median of 10 minutes and that the maximum survey length is 20 minutes. The reported lengths were significantly linked to the fact that respondents liked answering the survey and that they trusted that their data are treated in an anonymous way, but were not found to be linked to the socio-demographic variables tested, except age in the case of maximum length.
Published 3 August 2017

How the linguistic characteristics of a brand name can affect its luxury appeal
Abhishek Pathak, Gemma A. Calvert, and Elison A.C. Lim pp. 567–600 [Download PDF]
This paper investigates how different phonetic structures used in brand names affect their luxurious appeal. Specifically, it was hypothesized that the phonetic structures within luxury brand names are distinct from those of basic brand names and that these distinctions help to maintain the perception of exclusivity associated with luxury brands in consumers’ minds. The hypothesis was tested using two studies involving both explicit and implicit methods. The results indicate that luxury and basic brand names differ in their use of distinct phonetic features and that these phonetic characteristics can be formally identified. Furthermore, when the different phonetic patterns associated with luxury and basic brands were used to create novel, hypothetical brand names in each category, respondents were able to successfully classify them as luxury or basic brands, including at an implicit level. In sum, the paper reveals how sound symbolism operates at a phonetic level in the context of brand names and implicitly influences the way in which consumers perceive a brand’s apparent premium or basic status.
Published 23 June 2017

Labelling and direction of slider questions: results from web survey experiments
Mingnan Liu pp. 601–624 [Download PDF]
Using a web survey experiment, this study examines measurement comparability between two radio button questions (fully labelled and endpoint labelled) with slider questions. The slider question is unique to web surveys, displaying a horizontal or vertical line with a bar on the line. Respondents need to click and drag the bar to the desired position on the line in order to register their answers. The study described in this paper found that mean scores, break-off rates, time to complete, reliability and respondents’ evaluations are similar across question types, but that the item non-response rate for slider questions is significantly higher than for the radio buttons. In a second experiment, the direction of slider (positive–negative vs negative–positive) is compared. With few exceptions, all measures, including the mean scores, break-off rates, item non-response rates, time to complete, reliability and respondents’ evaluations are similar between the two directions. The implications and limitations of this study are also discussed.
Published 10 July 2017

Is mianzi the only face of Chinese consumers of wine? A typology of Chinese consumers of imported wine
Josselin Masson, Carlos Raúl Sánchez Sánchez and Franck Celhay pp. 625–654 [Download PDF]
This paper describes a cluster analysis, using the K-means method, conducted on a quota sample of 1,260 Chinese consumers of imported wine interviewed via an online questionnaire. Agreement is broad that the Chinese market has great potential for many products, including wine. With its huge population of 1.37billion and its growing middle class, China is very attractive for winemakers, particularly the European wineries hoping to compensate for the decrease in domestic wine consumption by exporting to China. However, consumers of a product category are rarely homogeneous and market segmentation is needed to adapt the product appropriately to consumer groups presenting similar needs and wants. Studies on the segmentation of the Chinese wine market are nevertheless scarce in the academic literature. This paper aims to address that lack. The analysis described identified six clusters (indifferent occasionals, wine lovers, relaxed amateurs, social networkers, stay-at-home connoisseurs and infrequent money-minded) and provides winemakers with greater detail on the various profiles of Chinese consumers of imported wine. This should help them to make their offerings more suitable to their targeted segments.
Published 26 September 2017

The NLS-based grey Bass model for simulating new product diffusion
Yanyu Wang, Lingling Pei and Zhengxin Wang pp. 655–670 [Download PDF]
To solve the problems inherent in the existing Bass model, this paper develops a grey Bass model using a non-linear least squares method (NLS) and provides the whitenisation solution of differential equations. A Bass model exploits the specific advantage in simulating and predicting new product diffusion. Unfortunately, the existing Bass model has two problems: one lies in the conflict between the small sample support in new product diffusion and the large sample requirement in Bass model estimations; the other is over-reliance on the subjective experience in estimating potential market capacity. Although Wang et al. (2011) proposed the grey Bass model to solve the first problem, the second problem remains untouched. Based on this work by Wang and colleagues, the improved method described in this paper is not only suitable for the small sample situation, but also directly estimates potential market capacity. Using the WeChat case, the authors test the improved method's estimation and prediction effects. The results show that the estimations for internal coefficient, external coefficient and potential market capacity are all significant at the 1% level, and the prediction effect in grey theory critical level reaches level 1. Additionally, internal and external sample prediction are both consistent with the raw data and company report.
Published 26 September 2017

Economic value for university services: modelling and heterogeneity analysis
Raquel Sánchez-Fernández, David Jiménez-Castillo and Angeles Iniesta-Bonillo pp. 671–690 [Download PDF]
The study described here develops a perceived value model, from the alumni's perspective, to determine the sources of economic value universities must focus on to enhance satisfaction, organisational image and identification. The assessment of university audiences' perceived value of service is increasingly critical for universities to become more innovative and competitive, yet research rarely examines the nature, effects or perceptions of value in this context. The study also aims to identify alumni-specific differences in the model, considering the existence of unobserved heterogeneity. Survey data from a sample of 500 alumni were examined using partial least squares (PLS) and Finite Mixture PLS. Overall results support the model, but the heterogeneity analysis differentiates between two latent classes in the number of sources of economic value and the intensity and significance of the proposed relationships. The findings provide useful theoretical and practical insights, and highlight the importance of uncovering heterogeneity in structural models.
Published 26 September 2017

Web survey methodology' by Mario Callegaro, Katja Lozar Manfreda and Vasja Vehovar
Alan Wilson pp. 691–692 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at “Web survey methodology” by Mario Callegaro, Katja Lozar Manfreda and Vasja Vehovar. The reviewer states that the eight chapter work is a comprehensive reference book for anyone who intends to do web surveys. The first chapter gives a history of web survey methodology, the next three cover the web survey process then there is a chapter on implementation followed by one giving research context and a final two chapters on web surveys and their future. The work is very detailed but has a dense academic style. The content is more appropriate for readers who have a knowledge of market research, so would not be useful as a stand-alone textbook for university courses.
Published 26 September 2017

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