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Smith Business Close-Up: Outpacing the Joneses

Jan 06, 2011
World Class Faculty & Research

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Who doesn’t want to be better than average? Top the average income, rate a bit better in the “looks” department, have smarter kids. As it turns out, we consumers don’t want to be just average in using our products, either. And if marketers understand this, they can harness it to increase their effectiveness.

In this edition of Smith Business Close-Up with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Rebecca Hamilton discusses her new research that suggests that if consumers don’t think they can meet the pace of product use set by other consumers, they’ll be less likely to purchase the product.

Hamilton is an associate professor of marketing, conducted the research with fellow associate marketing professor Rebecca Ratner and Debora Viana Thompson, Smith PhD ’06. Hamilton’s research focuses on consumer decision making and the effects of consumers’ information processing strategies on their attitudes and choices.

Smith Business Close-Up is co-produced by the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Maryland Public Television. The television segment focuses on the latest thinking in business management, and features in-depth interviews with Smith School faculty and other members of the school’s community of business leaders.

Where to Watch
Smith Business Close-Up can be seen bi-weekly on Maryland Public Television's Your Business and Money. The program airs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and is repeated the following Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and Monday at 4:30 a.m. on public television stations throughout Maryland and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, including:

  • WMPB-TV (Ch. 67), Baltimore
  • WMPT-TV (Ch. 22), DC metro/Annapolis
  • WCPB-TV (Ch. 28), Salisbury
  • WFPT-TV (Ch. 62), Frederick
  • WWPB-TV (Ch. 31), Hagerstown
  • WGPT-TV (Ch. 36), Oakland

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.