All posts by mvdzwan

The Effectiveness of Branded Mobile Phone Apps

E-commerce is evolving in a tremendous pace. A few years ago, marketing strategies of companies towards e-commerce were based on e-mail or place advertisements online. The last one, online advertisement, is nowadays still a popular marketing-instrument. But what’s changed in the strategy last few years? Almost everyone is having and using it every minute of the day: a smartphone. But, what is so special regarding mobile telephone marketing? It is the effectiveness of branded mobile phone apps.

According to Hutton and Rodnick (2009) an important reason for the popularity of branded apps as a marketing device is their high level of user engagement and the positive impact this presumably has on attitudes toward the sponsoring brand. In contrast to aforementioned ways of marketing, the branded apps are welcomed as “useful,” which suggests that they may be one of the most powerful forms of advertising yet developed. There has been solely research done towards the potential of customized text messages, however hardly research has been done regarding the personal nature of the mobile phone. This study examines how to optimize the promising marketing potential of apps.

An online survey is conducted as pre-test measure. Subsequently, an experiment is conducted, which measures psychophysiological factors,  in order to investigate the effectiveness of branded mobile phone apps. A strength of this study, after the different methods used in this research, is the elimination of self-selection effects. Each participant was asked to interact with all eight test apps during the experiment to eliminate these effects.

This study confirms the positive persuasive impact, increasing interest in the brand and also the brand’s product category through the use of branded mobile phone apps. Branded apps have a large effect on the favourability of brand attitude, but only a small effect on purchase intention. However, there is a difference towards effectiveness among the branded apps. Research emphasized the importance of a creative execution style, which improved the effectiveness. Moreover, applications that used an informational style were more effective at shifting purchase intention, compared to apps that used an experiential style. There is also a difference towards gender. In male participants there is a difference between the psychophysiological measures biometric measure, heart rate, suggestive of the informational style focusing attention internally and thereby encouraging the generation of personal connections with the brand. Within the female participants there is hardly difference.

This study emphasized the increasingly importance of branded mobile phone applications. It is an indication towards the marketing department to focus more and more on mobile phones, and less on physical marketing or e-mail. More specifically, branded apps offer the unique benefits of mobile marketing communications, following consumers wherever they go, and able to be updated with the latest localized information and deals. One thing is for sure, marketing strategies have to focus more on branded mobile phone apps.


Hutton, G. & Rodnick, S. (2009) Smartphone opens up new opportunities for smart marketing. Admap, vol. 44(11), pp. 22-44

The Impact of User Review Volume on Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay: A Consumer Uncertainty Perspective

With the increasing product offers on the internet, product reviews become more important. Subsequently, the statistics towards these reviews act as criterion for consumers. Important statistics include review volume, review valence, and review variance (Tsekouras, D., 2017). According to Jang et al. (2012) these statistics serve as a decision tool for consumers. More specifically, high review volume can increase the exposure of a business or product offering and high review valence also increases product consideration (Jang et al., 2012). There is a lot of research done towards these important statistics, however the findings were inconsistent. The most important reason for this, is the wrong assumption in previous research that online reviews have equal impact on different consumers. This study will fill this gap.

This study includes two different methods of research: an experiment and an empirical study. This is the main strength of the article. Both research methods are conducted in order to investigate how consumers use statistics in online reviews to form their WTP toward different online sellers. The authors focus on WTP because the impact of user reviews on price is inconclusive and a fuller understanding of this relationship contains direct implications for enhancing targeted pricing and promotion strategies.

First of all, an experiment was conducted in order to test the internal validity of the framework. The authors asked 143 undergraduate students with a scenario where they needed to purchase a new LCD TV of $800. The researchers showed the subjects a list of sellers with different review profiles and asked them to report the

maximum price they were willing to pay each seller for the TV. Results of this experiment support, except for the hypothesis H4a, the whole theoretical framework. The relationship between review volume and WTP varies not only by individual, but also by review valence (Wu & Wu, 2016).

The empirical study is conducted for two reasons. establishing external validity and sterile lab setting may not perfectly reflect the consumer decision process as it naturally occurs in online markets (Wu & Wu, 2016). They select the online auction site for use in our empirical study because the prices that consumers bid on

products are directly observable on the site and because user reviews are critical for eBay sellers’ success. Results of this empirical research emphasized that consumers differ in their preferences toward review volume. More specifically, this research shows review volume positively influences consumer WTP. The authors provide evidence that consumer preferences for review volume and review variance not only differ across individuals, but also change with review valence within individuals.

In conclusive the experiment and the empirical study shows that consumers’ preferences regarding review statistics are different. Moreover, the study shows that a consumer’s preference regarding review volume may shift: a consumer may be willing to pay more to a seller with a higher volume, but only when valence reaches a certain level. An implication of this research is the short period of data collection. To provide more reliable evidence towards the phenomenon of the heterogeneity of consumers regarding the review statistics, further research has to select more data over a longer period.


Jang, S., Prasad, A. and Ratchford, B.T. (2012) How Consumers Use Product Reviews in the Purchase Decision Process. Marketing letters. Vol. 23 (3), pp. 825-838

Tsekouras, D. (2017). Customer Centric Digital Commerce. Session 5 slide 13.

Wu, Y. and Wu, J. (2016). The Impact of User Review Volume on Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay: A Consumer Uncertainty Perspective. Journal of interactive marketing. Vol 33, pp. 43-56



Share a ride TOOGETHER

In times of sustainability, the increasing importance of mobility, and the environmental issues the use of vehicles is still the most important way to go to work. A big irritation to motorists are the traffic jams caused by the increasing use of the car. Moreover, the limited parking areas frustrates the motorist. Regardless of the distance to their final destination, the motorist’s first choice is still using their car. The use of the car and especially the traffic jams causes a lot of environmental issues. When we hate the traffic jams, are frustrated by the limited parking areas and we know using the car is harmful to the environment, why do we simply keep using such manners to go to work?

Toogether finds this gap in the market and offers a solution. Toogether is a platform that makes it very easy to get together and share a ride. How does it work? Instead of driving to work on your own, despite the remaining seats in the car, Toogether offers a possibility to travel together. This has consequences regarding the reducing of traffic jams, reduced limited parking areas and finally reduced emission of co2. Toogether provides an overview of where all of the colleagues are living (especially colleagues living nearby) and offers the possibility to make an appointment to drive together with the particular colleague. As user of the platform you have to create your own profile and Toogether provides matches based on the desired destination, the location, and the associated travel time. An additional benefit of this platform is cost sharing, since the users split the gasoline costs.

Toogether is an innovative startup which uses the concept of co-value creation. According to Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004) co creation is a management initiative that brings different parties together in order to produce a mutually valued outcome. Furthermore, Lusch and Vargo (2006) defines co creation of value as a desired goal as it can assist firms in highlighting the customer’s or consumer’s point of view and in improving the front-end process of identifying customers’ needs and wants. Both definitions are in line with the concept of Toogether, which provides a mutually valued outcome to multiple parties and accomplish their needs. On the one hand motorists denounces the traffic jams and limiting parking areas’ which accomplish the motorist needs, and on the other hand solving the mobility problem ensures reducing environmental issues which create sustainable value to all of us (government, population and organizations).

When the users of the platform increases, there is more and more data available of each user. We can think about data regarding to travel routes and peaking hours. When all of these data could be analyzed the company could offer more specific recommendations and finally increases the customer satisfaction. More specifically, users create value for themselves and for the Toogether when they are commonly uses the platform. Like aforementioned, Toogether needs their users to accomplish such goals. This is in accordance with the theory towards co value creation which emphasized that no single firm can create anything of value without the engagement of individuals (Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. (2004).


Lusch, R. P., & Vargo, S. L. (2006). The service dominant logic of marketing: Dialog, debate and directions. Armonk, NY: M.I. Sharpe.

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The future of competition: Creating unique value with customers. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press