Steven Sweldens has been appointed as Endowed Professor of Consumer Behavior and Marketing in RSM, Erasmus University to lead research focusing on finding out what consumers themselves are often unaware of. His chair, a new position created to reflect that customer centricity and marketing have become more important for organisations’ success, is endowed by Erasmus Trust Fund and was established on 1 May 2017.
“Success in marketing and business more generally has always depended on acquiring an intimate understanding of what your customers think, do and want. Recent evolutions in technology, social media use and society have made traditional boundaries between firms and customers evaporate. As a result, companies need ever deeper understanding of their customers and the consumers at the end of the value chain,” says Sweldens. He is best known for his work outlining the mental processes through which advertising changes brand attitudes, coming up with innovative solutions to separate conscious from unconscious influences in this domain. His research also investigated other fundamental drivers of consumption behaviour, such as consumers’ self-control ability, their susceptibility to normative social influence, and their tendencies to protect their egos when under threat. His most recent work investigates whether commonly used principles in advertising have the potential to change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours uncontrollably. Read more about this subject in the RSM Discovery article.