Robert Hamlin Current research interests: My main area of research

Robert Hamlin
Current research interests:
My main area of research is in package design, point of sale communication and low involvement
decision making. I have a particular interest in food marketing and marketing of public- good
initiatives within the food sector. Why are POS communications so critical? Well, in an average
supermarket around 98% of all products have no remote communication support – by this I mean
advertisements on TV, billboards, radio, magazines, the web or anywhere that is not actually in the
store. They must therefore communicate by the package or not at all.
Despite this critical importance to the economies of this and other countries, this area of research is
virtually uninhabited. There is not a single book in print worldwide on how to design a better
package. Areas where we are doing, or are seeking to do research to develop knowledge include:
Low involvement consumer decision processes:
These are decisions that are every day and that are not individually important to us. The processes
by which we make them are subconscious and mysterious not only to marketers, but to the decision
makers too. The mechanics of them are not well understood, and we are working on experimental
techniques that will allow us to get a handle on just exactly how they work. Topics might include:
1) Do the theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour actually work as a basis of low
involvement decisions?
2) Can we observe ‘brands’ as constructs within the mind of the consumer? What do they look like
and how do they grow, develop, reproduce – and die?
3) Just exactly how due brands, cues, cue utilisation processes and decision making mechanisms fit
4) Is it possible to construct a mechanism of low involvement decision-making from fragments within
that we have in the research literature already?
Low involvement marketing and communication:
5) What are the implications of the emergence of the category (e.g. breakfast cereals) as the prime
strategic unit in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG ) marketing on current FMCG product and brand
management practice?
6) What are the best ways to ‘public good’ initiatives within an FMCG environment? For example,
How do we effectively persuade people to eat healthier or more environmentally friendly foods using
the point of sale tools of modern FMCG marketing?
7) How should supra-brands, such as ‘organic’ or regional/national appellations be communicated
via the point of sale tools of modern FMCG marketing?
8) What is the impact of graphic designs on consumers’ point of sale evaluations and decisions with
regard to the FMCG products that carry them? Can we measure this, to distinguish between
alternative graphic designs, and thereby improve them?
9) How can primary producer cooperatives best organise themselves to exploit the tools of modern
FMCG marketing?
I am keen to work with Ph.D. students who have an interest in these matters, in order to develop
ongoing research programmes in which streams of Ph.D. and related research can make a significant
impact within these specific areas.
If you are interested, then drop ma a line on, and we can arrange to call or
Skype to talk things through.