Yvetta Simonyan

PhD (London Business School)

Brand quality inferences based on information in memory

My dissertation research focused on consumers' inferences about brand quality, in particular whether the old adage "there is no such thing as bad publicity" applies to brands. I ask whether brands associated with predominantly negative quality information are inferred to be of lower quality than unfamiliar brands, with the hypothesis that low-quality recognized brands will be perceived as superior. Having collected rich data on perceptions of brand quality, recognition of brands, memory cues, and media metrics, I have specified models that describe and predict consumers' inferences and confidence ratings, in addition to providing insight into psychological processes.

This project has practical ramifications as it can inform managers of relatively unfamiliar brands (arguably, most brands in a globalized marketplace) how they might compete with well-known competitors and to what extent umbrella branding may or may not benefit them.

Charity and helping behaviour

The other major stream of my research focuses on peoples' willingness to donate to charitable causes. A series of our prior lab studies show that people often favor beautiful, but less needy donation recipients. We propose that such propensity is a reflection of their intuitive rather than deliberative decisions and attempt to reverse the "charity beauty premium" by inducing deliberation in different ways.

University of Bath School of Management London Business School Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference