The Hunt/Maynard Award recognizes the 2020 Journal of Marketing article that has made the most significant contribution to marketing theory. The winners of the 2020 Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award are Anton Siebert (University of Reading, UK), Ahir Gopaldas (Fordham University, USA), Andrew Lindridge (Newcastle University London, UK), and Cláudia Simões (University of Minho, Portugal) for their article “Customer Experience Journeys: Loyalty Loops Versus Involvement Spirals,” published in Volume 84 of the Journal of Marketing.
This article argues that a “sticky customer journey” is sometimes a compelling alternative to the “smooth customer journey” commonly viewed as the ideal for building customer loyalty over time. Whereas smooth journeys are cyclical patterns of predictable experiences, sticky journeys are cyclical patterns of unpredictable experiences that increase customer involvement over time. In addition, the article identifies unique reasons for exit in sticky journeys such as well-being and wanting to resist addiction. Finally, it introduces six combinations of sticky and smooth journeys to grow/retain customers.
The selection committee, which included Harald J. van Heerde (JM Editor and chair), Kusum Ailawadi, Ashlee Humphreys, and Ajay K. Kohli noted: “We are delighted to recognize Anton, Ahir, Andrew, and Cláudia’s article as the winner of this prestigious award. Based on an inductive research approach and persuasive theoretical reasoning, this innovative article makes a convincing case that purchases in sticky journeys should occur after some level of consumer experience or engagement, in contrast to smooth journeys, where consumers are led to purchase before experiencing the good or service. The new perspectives on customer experience management developed in this paper are almost certain to inspire a substantial amount of theoretical and empirical research in the years to come. We also note that Anton was a PhD student when the paper was published. This paper was selected from among an excellent set of very diverse finalists.”
The other finalists for the award were:
- Yashoda Bhagwat, Nooshin L. Warren, Joshua T. Beck, and George F. Watson (2020), “Corporate Sociopolitical Activism and Firm Value”
- John P. Costello and Rebecca Walker Reczek (2020), “Providers Versus Platforms: Marketing Communications in the Sharing Economy”
- Christian Homburg, Marcus Theel, and Sebastian Hohenberg (2020), “Marketing Excellence: Nature, Measurement, and Investor Valuations”
- Jingjing Li, Ahmed Abbasi, Amar Cheema, and Linda B. Abraham (2020), “Path to Purpose? How Online Customer Journeys Differ for Hedonic Versus Utilitarian Purchases”
- Sunil K. Singh, Detelina Marinova, and Jagdip Singh (2020), “Business-to-Business E-Negotiations and Influence Tactics”