Maladaptive Consumer Behaviors and Marketing Responses in a Pandemic

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The COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic has upended consumers’ day-to-day lives and abruptly halted the operations of many businesses of all sizes. In the face of these challenges, how should marketers respond? Although pundits have suggested a uniform marketing approach in addressing and appealing to consumers during the pandemic, such a universal approach contradicts market segmentation wisdom. To better utilize sound marketing practices, marketers require a clear means of segmenting consumers during global crises. In response to this unfulfilled need, this study builds on the theoretical framework of the Extended Parallel Process Model, or EPPM (Witte 1991, 1992a, b, 1994), and identifies two distinct segments of consumers—labeled as Rejectionists and Survivalists—who have responded to the pandemic in differing maladaptive ways. In this work, each segment is described in detail and validated with cluster analysis, and suggestions are given to marketers for engaging with and promoting to each segment. These market segments are the first to be developed to assist marketers in identifying appropriate engagement and promotional strategies in a national crisis.


© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021

Publication Title

The Future of Service Post-COVID-19 Pandemic, Volume 2