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“Wow! It's cool”: the meaning of coolness in marketing

“Wow! It's cool”: the meaning of coolness in marketing Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the common meaning of vernacular usage of “cool” in terms of the related concepts consumers use to describe the term, using the symbolic interactionist perspective. Design/methodology/approach – Using literature review, we first analyse how cool has evolved from its original meaning to its contemporary form in global consumer culture (GCC). Next, from a content analysis approach, using associative group analysis (Szalay and Deese, 1978) we determine the cultural meaning of cool from a sample of young respondents ( n =127) drawn from United Arab Emirates. Then, using another set of respondents ( n =98), we assess the statistical reliability of our themes. Findings – Results of our analysis indicate that there is a common set of themes describing the term cool: fashionable, amazing, sophisticated, unique, entertaining, eye‐catching and composed. Fashionable theme significantly dominates the meaning of cool. Research limitations/implications – The findings are only limited to GCC and cannot be generalised to others. Practical implications – Even though the meaning of cool is attributed to emotional control and detachment in the literature (Pountain and Robins, 2000), manifestation of coolness in its meaning of fashionable, amazing and eye‐catching dominate the concept in GCC. Originality/value – Cool is a heavily used term by marketing practitioners. However, empirical literature uncovering the meaning of cool is still in its infancy in marketing. This research provides a view of what cool means to consumers in a GCC. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marketing Intelligence & Planning Emerald Publishing

“Wow! It's cool”: the meaning of coolness in marketing

Marketing Intelligence & Planning , Volume 31 (6): 19 – Sep 13, 2013

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References (59)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0263-4503
DOI
10.1108/MIP-09-2012-0094
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the common meaning of vernacular usage of “cool” in terms of the related concepts consumers use to describe the term, using the symbolic interactionist perspective. Design/methodology/approach – Using literature review, we first analyse how cool has evolved from its original meaning to its contemporary form in global consumer culture (GCC). Next, from a content analysis approach, using associative group analysis (Szalay and Deese, 1978) we determine the cultural meaning of cool from a sample of young respondents ( n =127) drawn from United Arab Emirates. Then, using another set of respondents ( n =98), we assess the statistical reliability of our themes. Findings – Results of our analysis indicate that there is a common set of themes describing the term cool: fashionable, amazing, sophisticated, unique, entertaining, eye‐catching and composed. Fashionable theme significantly dominates the meaning of cool. Research limitations/implications – The findings are only limited to GCC and cannot be generalised to others. Practical implications – Even though the meaning of cool is attributed to emotional control and detachment in the literature (Pountain and Robins, 2000), manifestation of coolness in its meaning of fashionable, amazing and eye‐catching dominate the concept in GCC. Originality/value – Cool is a heavily used term by marketing practitioners. However, empirical literature uncovering the meaning of cool is still in its infancy in marketing. This research provides a view of what cool means to consumers in a GCC.

Journal

Marketing Intelligence & PlanningEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 13, 2013

Keywords: Global consumer culture; Market intelligence; Meaning of cool; Middle east; Symbolic interactionism; Word association

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