Atmospherics as a Marketing Tool: The Influence of the Student Union Dining Atmosphere and Service on Students’ Attitudes and Actions

Huber, Grayson Beau (2018) Atmospherics as a Marketing Tool: The Influence of the Student Union Dining Atmosphere and Service on Students’ Attitudes and Actions. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Kathleen Wachter from Marketing, University of Mississippi.

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Atmospherics have been a focus of marketing research for decades following the research of Kotler (1971). Atmospherics research has revolved mostly around retail settings, with some research focusing on dining settings for consumers. Visual, aural, olfactory, and tactile factors of atmospherics have been studied in order to provide the best customer experience. Positive atmospherics also can relate to future buying habits. This study focuses on the topic of dining atmospherics on a college campus. The purpose of this research was to analyze any changes in students’ opinions following the renovation of an on-campus dining option. A survey was available to a selection of students at the University of Mississippi. This survey asked questions pertaining to students’ views on various aspects of the Student Union dining area before and after the renovation. This survey pulled information and inspiration from an adapted version of the Mehrabian-Russell model (Liu, 2009). In general, students viewed many aspects of the Student Union to be improved after the renovation. Positive feelings, negative feelings, positive atmospherics, and facilities all saw improved attitudes from students concerning the updated dining venue. These improved qualities did not result in more positive views of specific food vendors. The behavioral intentions of students for the updated Student Union were significantly positive. Students at least agreed to statements concerning their future patronage, word of mouth, and recommendations. Furthermore, all the defined clusters of this study significantly correlated with behavioral intentions. The qualitative analysis showed that students are enjoying the food vendor options, interior layout, and visual appeal of the renovated Student Union. However, crowding and long lines remain an issue for the Student Union. In a post hoc test, gender of students showed that females are more likely to agree with behavioral intention statements. In total, the Student Union at the University of Mississippi has improved in the eyes of its students through the process of renovation. Some aspects still need attention and improvement, but the overall evaluation of the Student Union provided positive results.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Huber, Grayson Beau
Student's Degree Program(s): B.B.A. in Marketing and Corporate Relations
Thesis Advisor: Kathleen Wachter
Thesis Advisor's Department: Marketing
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Depositing User: Grayson Huber
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 16:31
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 16:31

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