Presented at ANZMAC in Wellington

My first visit to New Zealand took me to Wellington to attend the 2019 Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference. The conference theme was “Winds of Change” and I very quickly realised that the title was also a clue to the fact that Wellington is, arguably, the windiest city in the world. For most of the trip, we battled winds that frequently exceeded 50km/hr. Definitely a new experience for me and one that I am not keen to repeat any time soon.

After a quick Lord of the Rings tour together with Joy and Ava, I started attending some of the most interesting-sounding sessions. It was great to see Angela Dobele present some qualitative work of our PhD student, Ash Powell, about why people leave negative word-of-mouth. Alexandra Hess presented some interesting work on the impact of celebrities versus influencers that is highly relevant to my other PhD student, Ella Bruce’s, on-going work.

Together with Rafi Chowdhury and Alexandra Hess, I led in a discussion about “Emotions in Choice” for the ANZMAC special interest group. I thank Prof. John Roberts for the opportunity. We discussed questions such as: Where do emotions come from? What is the nature of emotions? How best to measure emotions? What are some of the implications of measuring emotions? What are the ethical questions associated with emotions?

On the final day of the conference, I presented a paper called “Why do consumers buy more than needed”, which is joint work with Prof. Rick Larrick at Duke University. I was lucky enough to win the best paper in the Social Marketing track. It’s great to get such positive feedback early in this project. The room was also packed out and I really appreciate the interest. Here’s the abstract:

Consumers often invest in more capacity than they need: they buy homes with too many rooms, cars with too many seats, and more food than they can eat. Numerous negative financial and environmental consequences arise due to over-investment in capacity. We develop a novel game capturing many of the elements associated with a consumer’s capacity purchase decision. Observations from our game demonstrate that people do over-invest in capacity and, as a result, fail to maximize their theoretical profit level. The degree of capacity over-investment depends on the actual as well as the perceived shape of the demand distribution.

After the conference, it was great to do a little traveling around New Zealand’s north island. We saw geysers in Rotorua, slept in an old WWII plane in Waitomo, explored Hobbiton, saw glow worms deep beneath the earth, and basked over Auckland from the Sky Tower.