See the members' list of the department
Prof. Felicitas Morhart | Head of the department
Today’s branding is human and authentic. I am convinced that meaning represents the new competitive advantage for tomorrow’s brands. My research interest revolves around the question of how companies can create meaning and well-being for stakeholders (especially customers, employees, managers, and society) through their marketing and branding activities. I mainly use concepts of positive psychology to promote the transdisciplinary exchange in research and teaching on the notions of branding and consumption. I am non-paradigmatic about the choice of research methods, because in my opinion method follows research question. Hence, I use a variety of methodological approaches such as interpretive research, survey research, as well as lab and field experiments.
Prof. Sandor Czellar | Professor
In the 21st century, identity-related motivations affect consumer decisions in a broad spectrum of domains. My ongoing research interests pertain to identity phenomena in the areas of sustainable consumption, consumer response to brands and luxury marketing. A particularly important focus of my current research is the study of the role of individual environmental identities and their impact on consumer behavior.
Prof. Markus Christen | Professor
Information is the lifeblood of decisions. It is a key source of competitive advantage and a major part of developed economies. But information is a peculiar product for which normal business rules do not always apply. Producing more does not necessarily cost more and producing better quality information can result in declining prices. Moreover, all the available information does not automatically result in better decisions or greater happiness. A wealth of information strains our limited attention, it creates more reference points and social comparisons, and it does nothing to reduce the overconfidence bias. In fact, it seems to create more uncertainty and anxiety. This raises many interesting questions about customer behaviour, competitive interactions, and society overall. My specific research interest is to understand through analytic, empirical and experimental methods how information facilitates and undermines firms’ ability to create and capture value, how it impacts the balance between innovation and imitation, and how managers should allocate their limited attention to acquire and process information and make better marketing decisions.
Prof. Bruno Kocher | Assistant Professor
Successful companies have to understand how consumers perceive, process, and react to marketing strategies. My research interests focus on consumer behavior. More specifically, I study how status and power dynamics (between brands, between brands and consumers, or between consumers) impact brands and consumption behaviors, especially in the domain of luxury.
Prof. Tobias Schlager | Assistant Professor
Nowadays, novel phenomena, which are often driven by the rapid technological proliferation, are shaping individuals and their behavior. For instance, firms have integrated games into their interactions with consumers, have opened their product configuration systems to social networks as Facebook, or urge consumers to take a selfie when they purchase novel outfits. Often, the consequences of these phenomena are not understood, which I find thrilling and consider to be a huge opportunity.
My main research interest is in understanding how novel phenomena, which are spurred by upcoming technologies, affect consumers in their behavior and decision making. I strongly believe that this does not only contribute to consumers’ welfare—as they can make better decisions—but also that companies can draw on the insights to support consumers in making decisions that they benefit from. Along with classical experiments and field experiments my methods also comprise data-driven approaches focused on modeling heterogeneity of field data.
Over the past decades, brands have played many different roles for consumers such as communication agents, relationship partners, and cultural myth performers and seem to take over more and more space in consumers’ lives. I am interested in understanding whether the association of a brand with the transcendental can meaningfully impact consumers or whether, on the contrary, marketing has its limits and brands as commercial entities cannot provide transcendental benefits. I use different methodological approaches such as lab studies and field experiments.
I am a fifth-year doctoral student in Marketing at HEC Lausanne. I received a MSc degree from HEC Paris. My dissertation focuses on luxury consumption. More specifically, across several research projects, I study the duplicity of luxury consumers’ motivations: (i) increasing their social status and/or power, (ii) and satisfying their hedonic goals. To test my hypotheses, I rely on laboratory, online, and field experiments.
Scents are around us and affect us. It can be the scent of a store or the perfume that we wear. Extant literature highlights the effects of ambient scents on consumer behavior (e.g., purchase willingness, product or brand evaluations). However, the underlying process of these effects, or the consumer insights of the value of scents for end-users, are still insufficiently elaborated. Why should we care about scent world around us? How much sense has deep thinking about ambient scents? For whom olfactory cues matter and who can benefit from scent communication? These are research questions that I am not only interested in, but crazy about. Hence, the projects I am currently working on are focused on the issue of scent elaboration and defining the meaning of scents for individuals that can be applied in retailing and perfume industry.
The ability of retailers to customize shopping environments for customers is steadily increasing as retailers gather increasing amounts of customer data and as ever-greater quantities of transactions move online. My main research interest is in understanding how different aspects of the shopping environment such as product assortment (i.e., categorization) and product recommendations can enhance customer shopping experience and positively impact on their loyalty to the retailer. I use different methodological approaches such as lab studies and field experiments.
My main research interest is the relationship between consumers and brands. Brands play an important role how we evaluate products and services, organizations and finally ourselves. My work focuses on a better understanding of brand-related processes. I mainly use quantitative methods but I am also interested in the combination of different methodologies.
Today more than ever, individuals, companies and governments are concerned about the environmental impact of our society in terms of pollution, surplus of waste, over-consumption and over-production, deforestation, climate change and global warming. Will these consequences push consumers to adopt more sustainable behaviors?
The most important objective of my research is to build on and extend the current body of knowledge about the environmental identity concept. The main contribution will be to develop a comprehensive model of the formation of environmental identity. By acquiring a better, more comprehensive and individual understanding of environmental identity, public authorities can implement awareness programs develop tailor-made educational programs and more precise communication to enhance environmental identity among the target populations. Such targeted actions may have a positive impact on sustainable consumer behaviors.
This research is based on a conceptual model of the processes by which environmental identity can be formed and how it can lead to responsible behavior on an individual level.