Marketplace Magic: Examples and Implications For Consumer Behavior

ABSTRACT - The two-fold purpose of this paper is to define and demonstrate the presence of Amarketplace magic,@ or magic in postmodern consumer experience, and to develop theoretical links between marketplace magic and traditional magic. Magical stewardship in every age resides at the heart of the era’s chief concerns. Consequently, and not surprising, we find that marketers are also the postmodern stewards of magic. Marketplace magic refers to the experience of both expected and unexpected physical, emotional, mystical/spiritual or temporal transformations that occur as a result of the actual or potential use of product and services. We contrast traditional and marketplace magic, and explicate ten points of difference with examples drawn primarily from a leisure, experiential consumption context. Finally, we conclude by suggesting a rationale for why magic may be staging a comeback in postmodernity. It may be that as the world becomes strange to consumers they may start to behave magically just to cope.



Citation:

Eric J. Arnould, Linda L. Price, and Cele Otnes (1998) ,"Marketplace Magic: Examples and Implications For Consumer Behavior", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, eds. Basil G. Englis and Anna Olofsson, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 251.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, 1998      Page 251

MARKETPLACE MAGIC: EXAMPLES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Eric J. Arnould, Odense University, Denmark

Linda L. Price, Odense University, Denmark

Cele Otnes, University of Illinois, U.S.A.

ABSTRACT -

The two-fold purpose of this paper is to define and demonstrate the presence of "marketplace magic," or magic in postmodern consumer experience, and to develop theoretical links between marketplace magic and traditional magic. Magical stewardship in every age resides at the heart of the era’s chief concerns. Consequently, and not surprising, we find that marketers are also the postmodern stewards of magic. Marketplace magic refers to the experience of both expected and unexpected physical, emotional, mystical/spiritual or temporal transformations that occur as a result of the actual or potential use of product and services. We contrast traditional and marketplace magic, and explicate ten points of difference with examples drawn primarily from a leisure, experiential consumption context. Finally, we conclude by suggesting a rationale for why magic may be staging a comeback in postmodernity. It may be that as the world becomes strange to consumers they may start to behave magically just to cope.

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Authors

Eric J. Arnould, Odense University, Denmark
Linda L. Price, Odense University, Denmark
Cele Otnes, University of Illinois, U.S.A.



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3 | 1998



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