Monday, May 29, 2023

Greet Ways to Disappear Greed

If your shoppers consider you greedy, that’s bad. Researchers at University of Queensland, Universiti Teknologi Brunei, Jyväskylä University, and La Trobe University cite prior studies showing how consumer perceptions of marketer greed disrupt profitability and organizational resilience.
     For their own study, the researchers defined greed as a state of being responsible for seeking more of a scarce resource than is needed and deserved when this behavior is to the relative disadvantage of others. Given this definition, any actions by a marketer which violate principles of equity or are insensitive to consumer need are more likely to be perceived by the consumers as greedy behavior. To avoid being considered greedy, treat your shoppers with fairness and sensitivity.
     Is there more? In the study, participants were asked to assess greediness in scenarios describing hidden fees, use of substandard construction materials, inconsiderate rent increases, and unfair competition. From the study findings, three other factors in judgments of greed included: 
  • Underdog effect. People perceive a big firm as greedier than a small firm given the same intentional behaviors by a marketer. As a marketing organization grows in influence because of its strategic excellence, the organization’s leadership should stay sensitive to the fact that opportunistic behaviors once acceptable to stakeholders might no longer be accepted as legitimate. 
  • Black sheep effect. It’s in our nature to classify relationships into ingroup and outgroup. An ingroup marketer—for example, a local company as contrasted with a foreign company—which is responsible for acting inequitably or insensitively toward members of its own community is perceived as greedier than an outgroup marketer—in this comparison, a foreign company— behaving similarly toward members of its respective community. Many marketers make a case for buying local and strive to position themselves as a part of the communities in which they function. Remember that along with gains from these initiatives are the additional responsibilities of avoiding actions associated with greediness. 
  • Common-is-moral effect. People perceive a company which operates in a context where greedy behaviors are rare as greedier than a company operating in a context where greedy behaviors are common. Marketers may be able to succeed despite some exploitive behavior when the marketer operates in business or cultural environments where greed is almost expected. This relates to the view that greed is the motivating force for capitalism in developing economies and, like the ingroup-outgroup classification, is an integral part of human nature.

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