Grant Packard


Journal publications

Manchanda, P., Packard, G., and Pattabhiramaiah, A. (2015), Social Dollars: The Economic Impact of Consumer Participation in a Firm-Sponsored Online Community, Marketing Science, 34 (3), 367-387Downloadable paper


Abstract: Many firms operate brand-specific social networks or “communities” online. This is motivated by the belief that community members become more engaged with the brand, and as a result, increase their activity with the firm. We describe this potential economic benefit as “social dollars.” This research contributes evidence for the existence and source of social dollars using data from a multi-channel entertainment products retailer that launched a customer community online. While self-selection is a concern with field data, we are able to rule out multiple alternative explanations. Social dollars persist over the time period observed and arise in both online and offline channels. To assess the source of the social dollar, we hypothesize and test whether it is moderated by participation behaviours conceptually linked to common attributes of customer communities. Our results reveal that posters (vs. lurkers) of community content and those with more (vs. fewer) social ties in the community generated more (fewer) social dollars. We found a null effect for our measure of the informational advantage expected to accrue to products that differentially benefit from content posted by like-minded community members. This overall pattern of results suggests a stronger social than informational source of economic benefits for firm operators of customer communities. Several implications for firms considering investments in and/or managing online customer communities are discussed.

Klein, R. A., Ratliff, K. A., Vianello, M., Adams, R. B., Jr., Bahník, Š., Bernstein, M. J., Bocian, K., Brandt, M. J., Brooks, B., Brumbaugh, C. C., Cemalcilar, Z., Chandler, J., Cheong, W., Davis, W. E., Devos, T., Eisner, M., Frankowska, N., Furrow, D., Galliani, E. M., Hasselman, F., Hicks, J. A., Hovermale, J. F., Hunt, S. J., Huntsinger, J. R., IJzerman, H., John, M., Joy-Gaba, J. A., Kappes, H. B., Krueger, L. E., Kurtz, J., Levitan, C. A., Mallett, R., Morris, W. L., Nelson, A. J., Nier, J. A., Packard, G., Pilati, R., Rutchick, A. M., Schmidt, K., Skorinko, J. L., Smith, R., Steiner, T. G., Storbeck, J., Van Swol, L. M., Thompson, D., van’t Veer, A., Vaughn, L. A., Vranka, M., Wichman, A., Woodzicka, J. A., & Nosek, B. A. (2014). Investigating variation in replicability: A “many labs” replication project, Social Psychology, 45 (3), 142-152. Downloadable paper

- Lead article of Registered Reports special issue

- Media coverage: Natural Geographic, Nature, Science (online editions), NPR

Abstract: Although replication is a central tenet of science, direct replications are rare in psychology. This research tested variation in the replicability of thirteen classic and contemporary effects across 36 independent samples totaling 6,344 participants. In the aggregate, ten effects replicated consistently. One effect -- imagined contact reducing prejudice -- showed weak support for replicability. And two effects -- flag priming influencing conservatism and currency priming influencing system justification -- did not replicate. We compared whether the conditions such as lab versus online or U.S. versus international sample predicted effect magnitudes. By and large they did not. The results of this small sample of effects suggest that replicability is more dependent on the effect itself than on the sample and setting used to investigate the effect.

Packard, G. and Wooten, D. B. (2013), Compensatory Knowledge Signaling in Consumer Word-of-Mouth, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23 (4), 434-450. Downloadable paper

- Winner, Best Competitive Paper Award, SCP 2011

- Media coverage: The Cord, The Globe and Mail

Abstract: This paper extends prior research on the link between consumer knowledge beliefs and word-of-mouth transmission. Findings from four studies suggest that people symbolically compensate for unfavorable discrepancies they perceive between their actual and ideal consumer knowledge through greater intentions to transmit their product knowledge and heightened efforts to signal enhanced knowledgeability in their word-of-mouth transmissions. Compensatory knowledge signaling is moderated by the self-concept relevance (psychological closeness) of the word-of-mouth target and lay beliefs in the self-enhancement benefits of transmitting product knowledge. Content analysis of participants' product communications further supports our knowledge signaling account of the behavior. The relationship between actual:ideal knowledge discrepancies and heightened word-of-mouth intentions is mediated by the specific negative emotion previously linked to actual:ideal self-discrepancies. Overall, the findings suggest that the relationship between consumer knowledge and word-of-mouth transmission depends not only on what you think you know, but also on what you wish you knew.

Research under review or revision

"The Role of Network Embeddedness in Film Success" with Anocha Aribarg, Natasha Foutz, and Jehoshua Eliashberg. Conditionally accepted at International Journal of Research in Marketing.


Abstract: This research examines how the collaborative network of movie development teams contributes to new product success, and importantly, how the extent of contributions vary by the functional role of key team members. We consider two network-based attributes of team members, positional embeddedness (PE) and junctional embeddedness (JE). PE measures how well a team member is connected to well-connected others in the industry. JE measures the extent to which a team member bridges sub-communities in the industry. We conduct our empirical analysis in the context of the film industry, an exemplar industry with fluid team formation and dissolution. Analysis of nearly two decades of collaborations and film revenues shows that NPD team network embeddedness is significantly linked to a film’s commercial success. Overall, high PE is more crucial for the business management and consumer-engaging members of the movie team, whereas JE is more critical for the behind-the-scenes technical product development experts. Interestingly, while this is largely true for products affiliated with industry incumbents (major studios), projects affiliated with challengers (minor studios) benefit more from having technical experts with high PE. These previously undocumented findings support the value of different forms of network embeddedness for different functional roles within a product development team, contributing new managerial insights on NPD team assembly and new product success.

"How Can 'I' Help 'You'? Personal Pronoun Use in Customer-Firm Interactions" with Sarah G. Moore and Brent McFerran. Revising for resubmission (2nd round) at Journal of Marketing Research. Downloadable working paper

Abstract: In responding to customer questions or complaints, should firm agents indeed “put the customer first”? We address this question from a linguistic perspective, focusing on personal pronoun use in customer-firm interactions. While customer-orientation theory and the lay beliefs captured in the present research suggest that firm agents should focus on “you” (the customer) in these interactions, we find that increased self-centered references to “me” (the firm agent) are more beneficial. Five studies using lab and field data reveal increases in customer satisfaction, purchase intentions, and actual purchase volume when firm agent responses to customer inquiries or complaints contain an increased frequency of “I” (first-person singular) pronouns, but not when they contain an increased frequency of “you” (second-person singular) or “we” (first-person plural) pronouns. Building on prior research examining personal pronoun use, we find that perceived empathy and agency mediate the effects of firm agent pronoun use on customer satisfaction and intentions. These findings offer valuable implications for marketers and enhance our conceptual understanding of the impact of subtle language variations on consumers’ perceptions and behavior.

"Trust Me, I Know! The Impact of Boasting on Credibility and Persuasion in Word-of-Mouth" with Andrew D. Gershoff and David B. Wooten. Revising for resubmission (2nd round) at Journal of Consumer Research.

Abstract: Although recent research demonstrates self-enhancement (i.e. boasting) as a central motive in sharing word-of-mouth recommendations and evaluations, little is known about the impact of a self-enhancing source on credibility or persuasion. It is argued that the impact of source boasting on credibility and persuasion depends heavily on secondary cues that prompt trust inferences. Four experiments support this hypothesis, finding that self-enhancing word-of-mouth sources were less persuasive only in the presence of negative trust cues (S1: self-interested normative motivation, S2: demographic dissimilarity, S4: generalized suspicion). By contrast, self-enhancing sources were found to enhance persuasion in the presence of positive cues of source trustworthiness (S2: demographic similarity, S3: reputation). Further supporting the hypothesis, the trust dimension of source credibility was found to mediate these effects. Implications for consumer decision-making and for firms seeking to manage consumer social influence are discussed.

Selected research in progress

"Beyond Truth and Lies: Evasion as a Means of Managing Unfavorable Consumption Information" with Christine Kang and David B. Wooten.  

"Following the Blind: How Expertise and Endorsement Style Impact Word of Mouth Persuasion" with Jonah Berger.

"Many Labs 2" with Richard Klein, Kate Ratliff, Brian Nosek and over 100 replication labs.


Conference presentations / proceedings

“No Idle Boast: Consumer Responses to Self-Enhancing Sources of Product Information,” (with A. Gershoff and D. B. Wooten), Society for Consumer Psychology Annual Conference, Miami, March 2014.

“Putting the Customer Second: Pronouns in Customer-Firm Interactions,” (with B. McFerran and S. G. Moore), Society for Consumer Psychology Annual Conference, Miami, March 2014.

"No Idle Boast: Consumer Responses to Self-Enhancing Sources of Product Information" (with A. Gershoff and D. B. Wooten), Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, Toronto, November 2013

"Putting the Customer Second: Pronouns in Customer-Firm Interactions" (with B. McFerran and S. G. Moore), Association for Consumer Research, Chicago, October 2013

"Compensatory Communication: Consumer Knowledge Discrepancies and Knowledge Signaling in Word-of-Mouth" (with D. B. Wooten), Association for Consumer Research Conference, Chicago, October 2013

"Secrets and Lies: How Consumers Manage the Flow of Ego-Threatening Consumption Information" (with C. Kang and D. B. Wooten), Association for Consumer Research Conference, Chicago, October 2013

"Network Power" (with A. Aribarg, N. Foutz, and J. Eliashberg), ISMS Marketing Science Conference, Boston, June 2012


"Secrets and Lies: How Consumers Manage the Flow of Ego-Threatening Consumption Information" (with C. Kang and D. B. Wooten), Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, Las Vegas, February 2012


"Sharing (Less-than-Ideal) Knowledge: Consumer Knowledge Discrepancy and Word-of-Mouth" (with D. B. Wooten), Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, Atlanta, February 2011


"A Brand in Hand: Symbolic Props in Self-Presentation" (with A. D. Gershoff), Association for Consumer Research Conference, Pittsburgh, October 2009


"Firm-sponsored Brand Communities: An Empirical Analysis" (with P. Manchanda and A. Pattabhiramaiah), INFORMS Marketing Science Conference, Ann Arbor, June 2009


"A Brand in Hand: Symbolic Props in Self-Presentation" (with A. D. Gershoff), Consumer Culture Theory Conference, Ann Arbor, June 2009


"The Customer Dialogue", American Marketing Association (AMA) Annual Marketing Research Conference, Chicago, October 2006

"Cultural Segmentation", National Retail Federation (NRF) / Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), CRMretail Conference, Chicago, June 2006

Book chapters

Packard, Grant (2006), "Marketing Minute" In Boone, L. E., Kurtz, D.L., MacKenzie, H.F., and Snow, K. (Eds.) Contemporary Marketing, 1st Canadian Edition. Scarborough: Thomson Nelson.


Behm, Kerry, Jen Byrne, J. and Grant Packard (1994), "The Advertising Industry"  In Hess, J. (Ed.) Profiles in American Enterprise. (p. 230-266). Boulder: University of Colorado Press.