Envy In Marketing

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Envy is a universal emotion which is encountered when an individual wants something that another individual has (D'arms, 2009). It is an uncomfortable feeling that comes from the desire to covet for another individuals belonging. These desire have been penned by economists with names such as the bandwagon effect (Leibenstein, 1950) and “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” (Frank 1999). These terms describes that consumers’ preferences is generally dependent on others possessions, reasons being unknown. A preference for products or services that others already possess is likely to have multiple determinants. The idea behind a phenomenon like keeping-up-with-the- Joneses is that people compare their situation to that of others, realize that they are…show more content…
Envy requires two parties, the envied and the envier, and can either lead to uplifting behavior, as the envied strives to be like the envier, or negative behavior, where the envier seeks to destroy whatever advantage the envied person has (Hill and Buss, 2008). Envy is often associated with social comparisons, as a person may look upward at those who are doing better than them, or downward to others who are not as well off (Smith and Kim, 2007). These comparisons can lead to positive actions and are often used by people to develop goals that may be more rewarding but are harder to obtain (Tai, Narayanan, and McAlliser, 2012). However, envy also has a dark side, as many who experience envy feel shame and anger towards both themselves – for feeling the envy – and toward the envied person – for making them feel envy (Silver and Sabini, 1978). Envy is closely related to jealousy and can often be hard to differentiate. While envy is related to wanting what another has, jealousy is often associated with fear of losing a person; jealousy is often used in psychology literature as a construct related to romantic feelings (Lamia,…show more content…
In their 2011 paper "The Envy Premium in Product Evaluation," they find that benign envy leads people to pay a price premium for a product. They also find that malicious envy results in a person paying more for a product that is similar but different (i.e., same product category, but a different brand). Shalev and Morwitz use envy elicited by a person who is of a lower socioeconomic class to determine a person’s propensity to purchase an item to relieve envious feelings (2012). They find that a person will be more likely to purchase the product owned by this low status influencer in order to relieve their envious feelings. The literature review also discusses and brings together the concepts of envy, social media (Instagram) and marketing to answer the main question of this research paper– What role does envy on products featured on Instagram play in purchase intentions of Instagram users. Participants of the survey are presented with a story scenario that elicits benign envy, control envy and no envy. A series of close ended questions are asked about their thoughts on the product, an Iphone 6s, and then a few open ended questions to give the maximum price they would pay for the item is

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