A Cinderella Story: How Past Identity Salience Boosts Demand for Repurposed Products

Kamleitner, Bernadette ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7162-7287 and Thürridl, Carina and Martin, Brett A. S. (2019) A Cinderella Story: How Past Identity Salience Boosts Demand for Repurposed Products. Journal of Marketing, 83 (6). pp. 76-92. ISSN 1547-7185

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Like Cinderella, many repurposed products involve a biographical transformation, from a tattered past identity (e.g., an old airbag) to a product with a valuable but different new identity (e.g., a backpack made from an airbag). In this article, the authors argue that marketers should help customers infer such product stories by highlighting the products' tattered past identities. Three field experiments and four controlled experiments show that making a product's past identity salient boosts demand across a variety of repurposed products. This is because past identity salience induces narrative thoughts about these products' biographies, which in turn allows customers to feel special. Results also suggest that this strategy of past identity salience needs to be particularly well-crafted for products with easily discernible past identities. These findings highlight a promising new facet of storytelling (i.e., stories that customers self-infer in response to minimal marketer input); create new opportunities for promoting products with a prior life; and deliver detailed guidance for the largely unexplored, growing market for upcycled and recycled products.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online supplement: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022242919872156. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support forthe research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The authorsacknowledge funding by QUT Business School for Studies 1a and 1b.
Keywords: storytelling, narrative thinking, repurposed products, upcycling, recycling, felt specialness, product history
Divisions: Departments > Marketing > Marketing und KonsumentInnenforschung
Kompetenzzentren > Experimentalforschung
Kompetenzzentren > Sustainability Transf. & Responsibility
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2019 14:59
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/92343/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7211


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