Does the Future Really Matter?: The Influence of Future Anticipation and Reference Group towards Autobiographical Memory, Brand Relationship, and Market Performance

Does the Future Really Matter?: The Influence of Future Anticipation and Reference Group towards Autobiographical Memory, Brand Relationship, and Market Performance

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0993-6.ch003
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Abstract

In Chapter 2, we have discussed about consumer perception on future anticipation to understand the trends for customer's potential needs and wants in the future, especially regarding the relationship between brand association and future anticipation to develop brand loyalty. In this chapter, we will expand the discussion by attempting to understand the complex nature regarding the influence of future anticipation and reference groups towards autobiographical memory, brand relationship, as well as market performance. The study conducted in this chapter was co-authored with Luiz Moutinho (Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland) and Joaquin Aldas (Business School, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain).
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Introduction

As we have discussed earlier in Chapter 3, no one really knows about future. It remains as a mystery and attracts so many people to explore more. Understanding just a little part of the future will gain a lot of benefits for those who know it. For instance, a young teenager who understands that in the future s/he will become a renowned scientist will be more likely to learn science harder compared to those who do not know about their future. The same principle also applies to companies. Those who understand a little part of the future will gain more benefits. This philosophy is the basic idea of marketing-driven paradigm which necessitates companies to identify the future needs and wants from their customers in order to consistently be one step ahead competitors (Curlo & Chamblee, 1998; Kotler & Armstrong, 2011).

This is a very interesting phenomenon because companies have done many high cost efforts trying to understand the future by identifying customer preferences as well as their future needs and wants. The Research and Development (R&D) Department always innovates through many experiments in order to clarify this future trend. On the other hand, CEOs in many companies conduct sophisticated qualitative and quantitative methods to get better understanding of the future trend (e.g. Seifert, 2005).

With such a high level of emphasis on anticipating the future, it is unbelievable that research about future anticipation is scarce. This chapter attempts to identify the influence of future anticipation toward the development of brand relationship which finally creates brand loyalty. This concept of brand loyalty has attracted scholars’ attention for a long period, however its relationship with future anticipation has not been explored yet.

At this point, it remains unclear what types of anticipations are derived from the future and how this affects brand loyalty. Since the empirical research is still lacking, several issues with regard to future anticipation in promotion context remain unresolved. Clarifying such issues is imperative from both theoretical and managerial perspective. This chapter will attempt to fill this gap of empirical research on future anticipation in promotion context. Specifically, this chapter focuses on the goals to which future anticipation can be related and the actions that are associated with this anticipation. Our research here is not focused on the activities done by the companies regarding future anticipation, but rather on customers’ perceptions of the extent to which companies possess such future anticipation. It is very important because no matter how hard the companies try to anticipate the future, if costumers do not appreciate or even know about their efforts in anticipating the future, it could be hugely problematic for companies.

This chapter fills this gap of empirical research on future anticipation in promotion context. The article focuses on the goals to which future anticipation can be related and the actions that are associated with marketing discipline. We draw on philosophy theory (e.g. DeRoo, 2009) and psychology (e.g. Steinberg, Laurance, O’Brien, Cauffman, Graham, Wooland, and Banich, 2009) to explain the future anticipation. Specifically, for the study of the goals, we base ourselves on time perspective (Mello, Bhadare, Fearn, Galaviz, Hartmann, and Worrel, 2007), which refers to thought and attitude toward past, present, and future. To investigate what kind of behaviour is associated with future, we rely on the futurology in sociology that studies generalisations about the nature of prediction (Huber and Bell, 1971). By merging these two theories, we develop a conceptual framework and derive predictions for the study of future anticipation and brand loyalty that it triggers. As a result, instigating the perception of future behaviour done by the company is one of the main purposes of marketing actions.

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