CFP – Consumption experience: revisiting Holbrook and Hirschman 35 years after

Qualitative Market Research
An International Journal

Guest Editors

Damien Chaney, Associate Professor – Groupe ESC Troyes in Champagne

Renaud Lunardo, Associate Professor – Kedge Business School

Rémi Mencarelli, Professor – University of Savoie Mont-Blanc

Aims and scope
Since the seminal article of Holbrook and Hirschman (1982), consumption experience has been one of the key notions in the marketing literature for 35 years (Tumbat and Belk, 2011). Consumption experience has become a core component of marketing strategies (Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello, 2009) and has expanded in numerous aspects of consumer lives in post-industrial societies (Lanier and Rader, 2015). 

In the marketing literature, the introduction of the concept of consumer experience was a major evolution because it highlighted a shift from the investigation of the buying decision process toward the understanding of the consumption of the product or the service. Holbrook and Hirschman’s model (1982) was built partly on the weaknesses of cognitive frameworks which were the dominant model until the 80s to explain consumer behavior. One of the main weaknesses of these frameworks is the limited attention given to affective states and their conceptualization. Emotional states were considered only as a preference, or a residue of cognitive activities. This limitation was exploited by other researchers who struggled to suggest alternative models for understanding consumer behavior. It is in this spirit that the experience model was proposed by Holbrook and Hirschman (1982). This theoretical framework – which includes thoughts, emotions, activities and value – focuses on emotions and feelings experienced by consumers. This evolution has led to the emergence of the notion of experience in the marketing literature. Since then the literature on consumption experiences has developed significantly and a significant number of ways have been explored, leading some authors such as Pine and Gilmore (1998) to declare in their Harvard Business Review article that consumers nowadays live in “the Experience Economy. » The aim of this special issue is thus to make an inventory of current research on the notion of experience. Such an inventory is needed as consumers nowadays exhibit a desire for an experience from even mundane service offerings. In addition, the environment has deeply changed since the first paper on this notion of experience in 1982: digital and social media are on the rise, and collaborative consumption and sharing economy or new forms of store environments represent other sources of changes in the way consumers live the consumption experience. Hence, the following question remains and must be addressed: what are the major trends in marketing research on the theme of experience? 

Considering that QMR welcomes papers that rely on qualitative methodologies, the special issue accepts empirical and theoretical papers which both challenges and expands our understanding of consumption experiences. Suitable themes for the special edition include, but are not limited to, the following: 
– Online and offline experiences: multichannel and/or omnichannel experience (web to store, store to web, click and collect, brick and press, …), connected and disconnected experience, mobile channel experience; 
– Collaborative experiences: nature of collaboration in consumption experience (cocreation, coproduction, consumer made…), role(s) of consumer in collaborative experiences, resources, competences or skills to undertake collaborative experiences; 
– Original consumption experiences (retailing, cultural, leisure, religious, videogame etc.): functions, characteristics and/or structures of these consumption experiences; 
– Consequences of the experience in terms of delight, happiness, well-being, health (Transformative Consumer Research) or in terms of satisfaction, value, loyalty (marketing management); 
– Critical perspectives on experiential marketing; 
– Authenticity of the experience: desires for authentic consumption experience in a variety of contexts, inauthenticity associated with consumption experience, retro-consumption experience ; 
– Brand experience: consumption experiences and brandscapes (flagship brand store, premium brand store, pop-up brand store, brand museums), brand community, brand identity; 
– Experiential and sensory marketing; 
– Methodological renewal in the study of consumer experiences using discourse analysis, ethnography, semiotics, grounded theory, phenomenology, psycho-analysis…

Any inquiries should be sent by email to QMR Guest Co-Editors: Damien Chaney (, Renaud Lunardo ( and Rémi Mencarelli ( 

Please check the QMR website for guidelines on style in preparing your paper for submission:

Submission of full paper: 30th January 2017

Brakus, J. J., Schmitt, B. H., & Zarantonello, L. (2009). Brand experience: what is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty? Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 52-68.
Holbrook, M. B., & Hirschman, E. C. (1982). The experiential aspects of consumption: Consumer fantasies, feelings, and fun. Journal of Consumer Research, 132-140. 
Lanier, C. D., & Rader, C. S. (2015). Consumption experience An expanded view. Marketing Theory, 15(4), 487-508. 
Pine, J.B., & Gilmore, J. H. (1998). Welcome to the experience economy. Harvard Business Review, 76(4), 97-105. 
Tumbat, G., & Belk, R. W. (2011). Marketplace tensions in extraordinary experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(1), 42-61.