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Open access

John Deighton and Leora Kornfeld

Abstract

Effective social brand engagement can result from marketers “getting in the game” by playing with consumers. Play can take many different forms and can refer to different aspects. It can produce winners and losers, for example when marketers conquer the consumer’s wish to be let alone. It can refer to the collaboration among players to achieve, if not exactly a common purpose, at least separate purposes with joint resources. Or it can refer to conduct that bemuses and befuddles, leaving even the marketer unsure about the purpose of the game, except that he will be better known. It is apparent that people want to play with brands, and their managers must therefore decide if they want to actively offer participation and surrender to whatever form consumer play may take. However, brand managers should be prepared for surprising turns. Attention and consumer engagement are the prizes at stake for taking the venture, awards that are increasingly difficult to gain with more traditional communication campaigns.

Open access

Jill Avery, Thomas J. Steenburgh, John Deighton and Mary Caravella

Abstract

E-commerce is gaining ground and leaving the role of traditional brick-and-mortar stores open to question. With this in mind, a team of researchers performed a case study to determine what effects the store openings of one multichannel retailer of fashion, home furnishings and high-end accessories would have on its catalog and online sales. The opening of brick-and-mortar stores had positive and negative effects for the retailer, but complementary consequences clearly outweighed sales drops in individual channels: In the short term, only catalog sales declined slightly. But over time, both the catalog and online channels increasingly benefited from the presence of the new brick-and-mortar stores. Within 79 months, catalog sales recovered to a level that would have been expected had the store never opened and subsequently continued growing more than in a sample without new stores. An enhanced understanding of both positive and negative cross-channel effects helps retailers better anticipate and respond to changes in sales in existing channels when a new one is added. It is the basis for strategically managing a company’s channels as a portfolio rather than as separate entities.