Marketing professor Kelly Herd’s research focuses primarily on creativity and product design as they relate to a variety of topics including social cognition, identity, and emotions. She is particularly interested in what motivates consumers to engage in aesthetic product design and how companies can better enable individuals to develop unique and effective solutions to fulfill their own needs and wants (e.g., customization) as well as those of the marketplace (e.g., crowdsourcing). Dr. Herd’s has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. In 2010, she won both the Marketing Science Institute’s Alden G. Clayton Dissertation Proposal Award and the Society for Marketing Advances’ “Best Retail Proposal” Dissertation Award.
Dr. Herd holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Colorado and a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington and Lee University. Prior to completing her Ph.D., she specialized in public relations and consumer research, developing marketing campaigns for clients including Toshiba, Disney, NBC, and Pepsi.
Areas of Expertise (6)
University of Colorado: Ph.D.
Washington and Lee University: B.S.
Media Appearances (5)
The 30-second trick that can make anyone more creative
Fast Company online
“A lot of people are told to be very objective. ‘You’re a professional. Think about this in an objective way. Don’t get caught up in emotions,'” says Kelly Herd, marketing professor at the University of Connecticut. “But what we find is that [the empathetic] process actually leads to more creativity.”
Amazon Wants To Change How You Buy Condoms, And Other 'Embarrassing' Items
“Embarrassment has received sparse attention in consumer psychology literatures,” according to the study, “Wetting the Bed at Twenty-One: Embarrassment as a Private Emotion,” co-authored by Kelly Herd, assistant professor of marketing .
Why even online shopping can get embarrassing
The authors demonstrate that embarrassment is an emotion, which can also be experienced without the presence of others, and by self-judgment. Such private embarrassment can occur, for instance, when one wets the bed as an adult or overeats in the privacy of one’s own kitchen.
People experience embarrassment buying personal products online
Private embarrassment depends more heavily on the buyer's purpose—self-concept was affected more when the purchase was for impotence than for performance.
The hard way: Our odd desire to do it ourselves
New Scientist online
Kelly Herd identifies a factor: a customised product takes on elements of the customer’s identity, reflecting them back to themselves. This, she thinks, could help explain the huge discrepancy between how people who have designed and customised an object rate them, and how other people rate them. “People create pretty objectively unattractive stuff but they love it,” she says.
Look at Me! Or Don’t…: How Mere Social Presence Impacts Innovation AdoptionJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Xu, Lidan, Ravi Mehta, and Kelly B. Herd
2019 While the adoption of innovative products offers an opportunity for consumers to stand out and signal their uniqueness, such adoption also may also be associated with social risk. The current research highlights how the mere presence of others can make these related and often conflicting factors salient and in turn impact consumers’ willingness to fund or buy innovative products.
Head vs. Heart: The Effect of Objective versus Feelings-Based Mental Imagery on New Product CreativityJournal of Consumer Research
Herd, Kelly B. and Ravi Mehta
2018 Imagination visual mental imagery, a mental simulation process that involves imagining an end user interacting with an end product, has been proposed as an efficient strategy to incorporate end-user experiences during new product ideation. Consumer research finds that this strategy enhances overall product usefulness, but does not resolve whether and how this process may impact outcome originality.
A Review of Consumer Embarrassment as a Public and Private EmotionJournal of Consumer Psychology
Krishna, Aradhna, Kelly B. Herd, and Nilufer Z. Aydınoğlu
2018 Whether the result of mispronouncing a fancy brand name, miscalculating a tip, purchasing a sensitive product, or stumbling into a product display, embarrassment is an important part of the consumer landscape. Embarrassment has traditionally been considered a social emotion, one that can only be experienced in public.
Wetting the bed at twenty-one: Embarrassment as a private emotionJournal of Consumer Psychology
Aradhna Krishna, Kelly B Herd, Nilüfer Z Aydınoğlu
2015 Embarrassment has been defined as a social emotion that occurs due to the violation of a social norm in public, which is appraised by others (what we call “public embarrassment”). We propose that embarrassment can also be felt when one violates a social norm in private, or when one appraises oneself and violates one’s self-concept (“private embarrassment”). We develop a typology of embarrassment with two underlying dimensions – social context (transgression in-public or in-private) and mechanism (appraisal by others or by the self)...
It's the Thought (and the Effort) That Counts: How Customizing for Others Differs from Customizing for OneselfJournal of Marketing
C Page Moreau, Leff Bonney, Kelly B Herd
2011 While interest in customization is growing among consumers and academics, researchers have focused on consumers designing products for themselves. Many customization firms, however, are successfully positioning themselves as key sources for unique gifts. In this research, the authors examine whether factors under the firm's control (i.e., the level of design support provided and the presence of a strong brand) are differentially effective when consumers design products for themselves or as gifts for others...
To Each His Own? How Comparisons with Others Influence Consumers’ Evaluations of Their Self-Designed ProductsJournal of Consumer Research
Kelly Herd, Page Moreau
2009 The vast majority of consumer behavior research has examined how consumers respond to products that are offered on a “take it or leave it” basis by the manufacturer. Self-design changes the rules substantially, allowing consumers to have much more control over the product’s characteristics. This research examines the factors influencing consumers’ evaluations of self-designed products...