IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Enjoy! Assertive language and consumer compliance in (non)hedonic contexts


  • Ann Kronrod

    (Tel-Aviv University)

  • Amir Grinstein

    (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Luc Wathieu

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)


This paper is concerned with the tension between consumer persuasion and freedom of choice. We study how assertive language (as in the slogan Just do it!) affects consumer compliance in hedonic vs. utilitarian contexts. Previous literature consistently claimed that forceful language would cause reactance and decreased compliance. However, we find in four studies that assertive persuasion is effective in contexts involving hedonic goods and hedonically framed utilitarian goods. Our hypotheses emerge from sociolinguistic research and confirm the relevance of linguistic research in consumer behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Kronrod & Amir Grinstein & Luc Wathieu, 2009. "Enjoy! Assertive language and consumer compliance in (non)hedonic contexts," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-09-007, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-09-007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph A Clougherty & Michał Grajek, 2008. "The impact of ISO 9000 diffusion on trade and FDI: A new institutional analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(4), pages 613-633, June.
    2. Freund, Caroline L. & Weinhold, Diana, 2004. "The effect of the Internet on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 171-189, January.
    3. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    4. Gasiorek, Michael & Smith, Alasdair & Venables, Anthony J, 1992. "`1992': Trade and Welfare; A General Equilibrium Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gandal, Neil & Shy, Oz, 2001. "Standardization policy and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 363-383, April.
    6. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-160, February.
    7. Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
    8. Boom, Anette, 1995. "Asymmetric International Minimum Quality Standards and Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 101-119, March.
    9. Terlaak, Ann & King, Andrew A., 2006. "The effect of certification with the ISO 9000 Quality Management Standard: A signaling approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 579-602, August.
    10. Knut Blind, 2004. "The Economics of Standards," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3392.
    11. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
    12. Harrigan, James, 1993. "OECD imports and trade barriers in 1983," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 91-111, August.
    13. Mark Vancauteren & Daniel Weiserbs, 2011. "Intra-European Trade of Manufacturing Goods: An Extension of the Gravity Model," International Econometric Review (IER), Econometric Research Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, April.
    14. Barrett, Christopher B. & Yang, Yi-Nung, 2001. "Rational incompatibility with international product standards," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 171-191, June.
    15. Swann, Peter & Temple, Paul & Shurmer, Mark, 1996. "Standards and Trade Performance: The UK Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1297-1313, September.
    16. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    17. Paul Brenton & John Sheehy & Marc Vancauteren, 2001. "Technical Barriers to Trade in the European Union: Importance for Accession Countries," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 265-284, June.
    18. David Hummels & James Levinsohn, 1995. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 799-836.
    19. Maskus, Keith E. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2005. "The cost of compliance with product standards for firms in developing countries: an econometric study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3590, The World Bank.
    20. Baldwin, Richard, 2000. "Regulatory Protectionism, Developing Nations and a Two-Tier World Trade System," CEPR Discussion Papers 2574, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1996. "A selective review of the economics of standardization. Entry deterrence, technological progress and international competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 183-209, September.
    22. Knut Blind, 2002. "Driving forces for standardization at standardization development organizations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(16), pages 1985-1998.
    23. Ganslandt, Mattias & Markusen, James R., 2001. "National Standards and International Trade," Working Paper Series 547, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    24. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    25. Benezech, Daniele & Lambert, Gilles & Lanoux, Blandine & Lerch, Christophe & Loos-Baroin, Jocelyne, 2001. "Completion of knowledge codification: an illustration through the ISO 9000 standards implementation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1395-1407, December.
    26. Preeg, Ernest H., 1998. "From Here to Free Trade," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226679624.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    assertive message; consumer compliance; hedonic consumption; utilitarian consumption; forceful language; persuasion; freedom of choice; reactance;

    JEL classification:

    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-09-007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ESMT Faculty Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.