Consumer Behaviour

Required for the generation and utilisation of customer insights is extensive understanding of the ways that consumers think, feel and act. The aim is to provide valid and accurate descriptions of the behaviour of individual consumers in specific social situations. We use the latest marketing science techniques for our research.

Employing data analysis, experimentation and exploration, we help businesses generate unique customer insights that will make possible the successful transformation of business models, products, services and product features.


Audi: Discovering products through play

Consumers frequently vacillate about buying a new product because they are unable to assess any possible risks associated with it or – particularly where only incremental improvements have been made – they are unable to recognise any advantages that the new product may offer in comparison with previous versions. In many sectors it is thus necessary to present incremental innovation in a way that is particularly attractive to the potential buyer. This project was launched in 2015 in collaboration with the automotive concern Audi; its purpose was to determine whether information can be more readily communicated through a game, thus enhancing the attractiveness of the product in question. The results indicate a positive effect of this approach. The project findings have been published in the Journal of Marketing.


Sonova: The relevance of the sales team

How does a sales team influence the purchasing of products? In addition to the sales personnel, there are other factors that play a role here, such as advertising and word-of-mouth promotion. The aim of this project was to determine the relevance of the sales team when it came to purchases of hearing aids and to identify their influence independently of that of other factors.

Vorwerk Schweiz AG: Smart household devices

In cooperation with Vorwerk Schweiz AG, we are investigating how smart household devices (e.g. smart kitchen appliances and robotic vacuum cleaners) are perceived by potential users. A representative study in Switzerland, which will further be conducted with the University of Lucerne and Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke AG, provides us with an overview of the current distribution of and general attitude towards smart products. In the survey aspects relevant to the acceptance of smart products are examined in detail. The survey addresses, for example, the wishes and concerns that arise with regard to smart products, the interaction and perceived cooperation with the products as well as the perception of time during the use of smart products. On the basis of the insights gained, we will investigate the perception of and interaction with smart products in further studies.


Consumer Behaviour Workshop

The Institute for Customer Insight offers a quarterly consumer behaviour (CB) workshop for its PhD students, led by Prof. Dr. Emanuel de Bellis and Prof. Dr. Johanna Gollnhofer. In the workshops, various topics from the CB area and research in general are being presented and discussed in an informal setting. For instance, recent workshops provided an overview over CB journals and conferences, discussed the review process based on a recent publication, and introduced various funding instruments. In addition, PhD students regularly present and discuss their current research.

For further questions about the workshop, please contact Prof. Dr. Emanuel de Bellis or Prof. Dr. Johanna Gollnhofer.


Autonomous Shopping Systems: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Consumer Adoption

in: Journal of Retailing, Jan 2020.
(Emanuel de Bellis & Gita Venkataramani Joha)

How and when weather boosts consumer product valuation

in: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Jan 2020, 1-17.
(Tobias Schlager & Emanuel de Bellis & JoAndrea Hoegg)

Consumer Movements and Value Regimes: Fighting Food Waste in Germany by Building Alternative Object Pathways

in: Journal of Consumer Research, 2019, 46 (3), 460–482.
(Johanna Gollnhofer, Henri Weijo & John Schouten)

Personalizing the Customization Experience: A Matching Theory of Mass Customization Interfaces and Cultural Information Processing

in: Journal of Marketing Research, 2019.
(Emanuel de Bellis, Christian Hildebrand, Kenichi Ito, Andreas Herrmann, & Bernd Schmitt)

Gut Liking for the Ordinary: Incorporating Design Fluency Improves Automobile Sales Forecasts

in: Marketing science, 2011, 30 (3), 416-429.
(Jan Landwehr, Aparna Labroo, Andreas Herrmann)


Prof. Dr. Johanna Gollnhofer
+41 (0)71 224 21 40 

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Dr. Christian Berger
+41 (0)71 224 25 83 

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Pia Burghartz
Research Assistant
+41 (0)78 749 89 14 

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Hosei Ghafur
Research Assistant
+41 (0)71 224 73 94 

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Johanna Hasenmaile
Research Assistant
+41 (0)71 224 21 38 

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Maximilian Richter
Research Assistant
+41 (0)71 224 71 74 

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Jenny Zimmermann
Research Assistant
+41 (0)71 224 21 34 

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