Guest Lecture: Conor Henderson

Emerging Research on Socio-Political Challenges for Brand Management

16.11.2021 - 16.11.2021

Conor Henderson, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Judy and Hugh Oliphant Research Scholar at the Lundquist College of Business, is fellow-in-residence at CY AS, invited by Essec.

The rise of conscientious consumption movements pushes brands, and brand managers, to concern themselves with societal issues that were previously considered outside of the business domain. As brand managers begin to venture into the social-political domain, risks and potential pitfalls are revealed. Recent research in top marketing journals finds that brands’ social-political activism results in wide swings in firm value, depending on a myriad of contextual factors (Bhagwat et al 2020). The Marketing Science Institutes’ 2020-2022 research priorities highlight manager’s concern with how best to navigate an increasingly relevant social-political context. In response, this presentation will cover several research projects that examine how consumers' evaluations of brands are altered based on the salience of economic inequality, racial biases, and political partisanship. To understand the effects of inequality on consumers' evaluations of brands, we have merged and analyzed secondary data and found that consumers’ evaluations of powerful seeming brands suffer when economic inequality is especially salient. In regards to racial bias, we have deployed secondary data and conducted experiments to examine how consumers' response to black vs white social influencers varies according to the power of the societal position the influencer occupies. Regarding political partisanship, our experiments find that consumers’ evaluations of brands suffer when the brands advertise alongside political news content that reports on positive news for the political candidate that the consumer opposes. We believe these effects are united by a common concern for societal power and how brands can seemingly provide credence to others who might use power for purposes that the consumer opposes. Further research is required to fully understand the process underlying these effects.


Date: 16 November 2021 from 12:30 to 14:00

The hybrid guest lecture is organised in person at the Auditorium of MIR in Neuville-sur-Oise and remotely on Zoom.

To attend the remote guest lecture, please connect to Zoom:

Meeting ID: 923 1126 4875

The video will be online on the CY AS YouTube channel


Please register your participation by filling out this form to order sandwiches for the lunch break