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About us FEB Research / FEB FEB Research Institute (FEBRI) Research programme Marketing Research

Consumer Behaviour

Consumers make numerous decisions every day, all day, 365 days a year. Consumers decide whether and what products and brands to purchase, how to use them or how much to prepare and consume, and how to dispose of empty packages and product left-overs. Many of these choices and decisions are influenced by subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle marketing cues, frequently without consumers being aware of these influences. At the Department of Marketing, the CoRe Lab—the Consumer Research group—studies the impact of marketing cues, such as brands, logos, ads, product attributes, product packaging, and for instance store lay out, on consumer thought, feeling, perceptions, and behaviour, as well as the—frequently implicit and nonconscious—psychological processes that drive this impact. In doing so we frequently and fruitfully collaborate with researchers from the other two research themes within the department, i.e., the Marketing Strategy theme and the Marketing Modeling theme.

We are a group of active researchers that mainly employ lab and field experimental methods to understand marketing’s impact on consumer behaviour. The findings from our research program are not only published in top-tier journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, or Journal of Marketing, but are also frequently cited in the popular press offering insights that promote consumer well-being and contribute to sustainable and healthy consumption behaviour.

For example, we study how subtle changes in food brand names, packaging and serving influence how consumers perceive these food products and how much they actually consume of them. We also study what causes food to get wasted, and how to prevent food waste (Koert van Ittersum, Jenny van Doorn). Moreover, we further explore new ways of promoting sustainable consumption ( Jan Willem Bolderdijk, Jenny van Doorn ) and how to promote prosocial behavior.

From an empowerment perspective, other research examines when consumers are and when they are not able to resist (unwanted) marketing influences and what role consumer self-control plays in this process ( Bob Fennis ). Findings from this stream of research have fuelled new and innovative strategies to stimulate healthy food choices ( Bob Fennis ). Related work also explores how marketing cues, such as social responsibility campaigns and direct marketing appeals can promote charitable giving ( Marijke Leliveld ) and improve consumer financial decision making (Martijn Keizer). Yet other research examines how marketing cues such as ‘smart’ shopping carts (Koert van Ittersum), brand attributes (Bob Fennis), loyalty programs ( Bob Fennis ) or advertising elements (Bob Fennis) nonconsciously affect consumer motivation and behaviour. Research in the department also explores how resource scarcity, in terms of financial deprivation and economic inequality, shapes consumers' perceptions, judgement, and behavior. Moreover, in this line of research, strategies and interventitons that help counter the sub-optimal consumption tendencies (e.g., impulsive purchasing, luxury consumption, etc.) often caused as a result of a scarcity mindset are explored (Mehrad Moeini Jazani, Sumaya Albalooshi). The far reaching implications of this research point to new policy directions in securing consumer autonomy and empowerment.

Current CoRe Lab members are listed below. Click on their names for more information on their research interests and their published work.


PhD Candidates:

Last modified:11 April 2022 2.16 p.m.