Silvia is a fifth year doctoral student in the Marketing Unit at the Harvard Business School.
Her research investigates how consumers use products and brands to express identity and to signal status. For example, one of her projects explores the conditions under which nonconforming behaviors, such as wearing red sneakers in a professional context, lead to inferences of higher status in the eyes of others. In another project, she analyzes intergroup dynamics in the domain of exclusive brands and demonstrates the positive effects of non-core users of the brand, the “brand tourism effect.” Silvia’s other related research interests include the consequences of product ownership and counterfeit goods.
Prior to coming to Harvard, she worked for five years in the marketing departments of Danone and L.V.M.H. Silvia earned her B.A. with honors in Economics from LUISS University in Italy and her MBA from IESE Business School in Spain.
Brand Tourists: How Non-Core Users Enhance the Brand Image by Eliciting Pride
This research examines how core consumers of selective brands react when non-core users obtain access to the brand. Contrary to the view that non-core users and downward brand extensions pose a threat to the brand, this work investigates the conditions under which these non-core users enhance rather than dilute the brand image. A distinction between two types of non-core users based on how they are perceived by current users of core products is introduced: "brand immigrants" who claim to be part of the in-group of core users of the brand and "brand tourists" who do not claim any membership status to the brand community. A series of studies shows that core consumers respond positively to non-core users when they are perceived as brand tourists. The brand tourism effect is mediated by core users' pride and moderated by brand patriotism and selectiveness of the brand.
Keywords: Consumer Behavior;
Brands and Branding;
Bellezza, Silvia, and Anat Keinan. "Brand Tourists: How Non-Core Users Enhance the Brand Image by Eliciting Pride." Journal of Consumer Research
The Surprising Benefits of Nonconformity
Keywords: Status and Position;
The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity
We examine how people react to nonconforming behaviors, such as entering a luxury boutique wearing gym clothes rather than an elegant outfit or wearing red sneakers in a professional setting. Nonconforming behaviors, as costly and visible signals, can act as a particular form of conspicuous consumption and lead to positive inferences of status and competence in the eyes of others. A series of studies demonstrates that people confer higher status and competence to nonconforming rather than conforming individuals. These positive inferences derived from signals of nonconformity are mediated by perceived autonomy and moderated by individual differences in need for uniqueness in the observers. We identify boundary conditions and demonstrate that the positive inferences disappear when the observer is unfamiliar with the environment, when the nonconforming behavior is depicted as unintentional, and in the absence of expected norms and shared standards of formal conduct.
Keywords: consumer behavior;
Bellezza, Silvia, Francesca Gino, and Anat Keinan. "The Red Sneakers Effect: Inferring Status and Competence from Signals of Nonconformity." Journal of Consumer Research
41 (June 2014).
Conspicuous Consumption of Time: When Busyness Becomes a Status Symbol
Bellezza, Silvia, Anat Keinan, and Neeru Paharia. "Conspicuous Consumption of Time: When Busyness Becomes a Status Symbol." White Paper Series, March 2014.
'Be Careless with That!' Availability of Product Upgrades Increases Cavalier Behavior toward Possessions
Bellezza, Silvia, and Joshua Ackerman. "'Be Careless with That!' Availability of Product Upgrades Increases Cavalier Behavior toward Possessions." White Paper Series, October 2013.
Temporal Profiles of Instant Utility during Anticipation and Recall
Baucells, Manel, and Silvia Bellezza. "Temporal Profiles of Instant Utility during Anticipation and Recall." White Paper Series, October 2013.