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We investigated effectiveness of promoting novel ingredients either with presence or absence positioning – both are common in marketplace (e.g. Secret® deodorant visibly claims “aluminum chlorohydrate” while Crystal® promotes “no aluminum chlorohydrate”). Initial study results show that consumers have more positive evaluations and purchase intentions for absence framing than presence framing and this effect is mediated by protection-related goals. After reviewing the literature in green/sustainable product attributes and regulatory focus, we show that absence-framed ingredients have better consumer evaluations when consumers are in the prevention mindset. Conversely, we show that, when customers are in promotion mindset and looking for a better performance, presence-framing of ingredients seem to have better consumer evaluations. To understand whether fluency with such ingredients are driving the results, we conducted another study where absence-framing of familiar, natural but unusual product ingredients were investigated. The results show that absence-framing effect is prevalent even when ingredients are natural instead of chemical. The research has implications for product development, promotions, labeling and packaging showing the preferences for absence of novel ingredients.

About the Authors

Tim Ozcan is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College where he teaches market research, marketing analytics and research methods. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing in 2008 from University of Rhode Island. Prior to coming to Rollins, he was Associate Professor of Marketing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Tim’s research interests are in the areas of consumer attitudes for a variety of branding strategies, compensatory reasoning in consumer decision making, alphanumerical brand names, brand positioning and counterfeit branding. His published his research in several scholarly journals such as Marketing Letters, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and Journal of Services Marketing.

Ahmet Hattat is a Ph.D. candidate at College of Business, University of Rhode Island where he teaches marketing research and customer analytics. He earned his MBA with an emphasis in Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings March 2018 2 Copyright of the Author(s) and published under a Creative Commons License Agreement Marketing from University of Tampa. Ahmet’s research interests include consumer behavior and information processing, brand portfolio management, brand extensions, and multi-attribute products. His research has been featured at American Marketing Association Summer Educators’ Conference and he was recognized as doctoral consortium fellow by Marketing Management Association and Society for Marketing Advances.

Michael Hair is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Business, where he teaches market research, consumer behavior, and social media marketing. He earned his Ph.D. in Management with an emphasis in Marketing (Consumer Behavior) in 2015 from Georgia Institute of Technology. Michael’s research interests focus on consumption goals, memory, and attribute weighting. He has published his research in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and his work has been featured at numerous marketing, consumer psychology, and judgment & decision making conferences.

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