Academically, my work is generally located within the consumer psychology discipline, though I would personally view myself more as an applied psychologist who just happens to have an interest in consumers and FMCG marketing.

Sponsored by the EPSRC and the fashion retailer Next, my original PhD research was in the then-emergent field of omni-channel consumer behaviour. This was one of the first longitudinal studies of consumer decision-making across multiple retail channels and I published one of the first papers in this area.  During this research, I came to realise that while marketers may view store, catalogue and internet shopping merely as use of distinct purchase channels, consumers actually experience these as quite different retail environments and, as such, they are prone to particular sets of marketing stimuli from shopping situation to situation.  This particular ‘take’ on the omni-channel consumer continues to inform my work today.

My research is firmly located within the shopper marketing paradigm.  The primary focus is on identifying those essential moments in the customer purchase journey and the contribution psychology can make at each touchpoint to shape consumer wants, needs and desires.  If we can better understand these moments, we can develop FMCG marketing strategies that are more effective, more innovative and – ultimately – more satisfying to our customers.  The Renown approach is a synthesis of some two decades of this work, an attempt to add more academic rigour to modern shopper marketing strategies through a systematic application of consumer psychology.

My approach to research is broadly a motivational one, albeit with a novel twist.  I combine traditional focus groups, touchpoint mapping and accompanied shopping with experimental work, media analyses and the latest ‘neuromarketing’ techniques.  I work with a number of leading brands, applying Renown and measuring outcomes – do get in touch if you are interested in broadening that collaboration further.

Selected Papers

Nicholson, M., Xiao, S.H., Iyer, G. & Obeidat, Z. (2017). Consumer revenge using the Internet and social media: Service failure types and cognitive appraisal processes. Psychology & Marketing, 34(4): 496-515.

Iyer, G.R., Xiao, S., Sharma, A. & Nicholson, M. (2015). Behavioral issues in price-setting in business-to-business marketing: a framework for analysis. Industrial Marketing Management. 47: 6-16.

Xiao, S. & Nicholson, M (2013). A multidisciplinary cognitive behavioural framework of impulse buying: A systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(3): 333-356.

Alshurideh, M., Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2012). The Effect of Previous Experience on Mobile Subscribers’ Repeat Purchase Behaviour. European Journal of Social Sciences, 30(3): 366-376.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2011). Consumer behaviour analysis and social marketing practice.  Service Industries Journal, 31(15): 2529-2542.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2011). Consumer consideration of non-deceptive counterfeit goods: a contingency matrix approach.  Service Industries Journal, 31(15): 2617-2631.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2011). Mapping impulse buying: a behaviour analysis framework for services marketing and consumer research.  Service Industries Journal, 31(15): 2515-2528.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2010). On the Evolutionary Bases of Consumer Reinforcement. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 30(2): 127-144.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2010). Trick or Treat? An Examination of Marketing Relationships in a Non-deceptive Counterfeit Market. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 30(1): 247-279.

Gee, R., Coates, G. & Nicholson, M. (2008). Understanding and profitably managing customer loyalty. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 26(4): 359-374.

Nicholson, M., Clarke, I. & Blakemore, M. (2002). One brand, three ways to shop: Situational variables and multichannel consumer behaviour. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 12(2): 131-148.

Book Chapters

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2015), The Role of Impulsivity in Impulse Purchase Decision-Making: A Cross-Cultural Comparison.  In Schmitt, B. & Lee, L. (Eds.), The Psychology of the Asian Consumer.  London: Routledge.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2013), Darwin’s Ghost: Evolutionary Psychology and Consumer Behaviour.  In Hantula, D.A. & Wells, V.K. (Ed.), Consumer Behavior Analysis: A Rational Approach to Consumer Choice.  London: Taylor & Francis.

Conference Papers & Keynote Presentations

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2015), Context variation in opt-in choice of mobile advertising, EMAC 2015 Conference. KU Leuven and Vlerick Business School. Leuven, Belgium.

Nicholson, M. & Zirger, B.J. (2014), Integrating Technology into B-school Curricula, AACSB International Associate Deans Conference, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Xiao, S.H., Iyer, G.R., & Nicholson, M. (2014), A Cross-National Examination of Impulsivity and Impulse Buying Behaviors, Second International Conference on Global Business, Economics, Finance and Social Sciences GB14 Conference. Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Xiao, S.H., Iyer, G. & Nicholson, M. (2013), Impulsivity and Impulse Buying: A Cross-National Examination, EMAC 2013 Conference. ITU in Istanbul, Turkey.

Xiao, S. H. & Nicholson, M. (2012), The Role of Impulsivity in Impulse Purchasing Decision Making – A Cross-Culture Comparison, Advertising and Consumer Psychology (ACP) Conference 2012. NanYang Technological University, Singapore.

Xiao, S. H. & Nicholson, M (2010), Understanding the role of impulsivity in impulse buying: a Chinese adaptation of the UPPS impulse behavior scale, British Academy of Management Conference. Sheffield, UK.

Xiao, S.H., Newman, A.J. & Nicholson, M. (2009), A Critical Review of Impulse Purchasing and its Measurement, Spring Conference of the Marketing Management Association. Chicago, USA.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2009), Consumer Behaviour Towards Counterfeit Goods – A Situational Perspective, British Academy of Management Conference. Brighton, UK.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2008), Symposium: Old Wine in New Bottles? Social Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Analysis, British Academy of Management Conference. Harrogate, UK.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2008), Social Marketing and Behaviour Analysis: Some thoughts on the management of obesity, International Symposium on the Management of Obesity. Salford Business School, UK.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2007), Luxury for the Masses: An Exploratory Study on New Luxury Brands Consumption in China, 3rd Annual Colloquium of the Academy of Marketing’s Brand, Corporate Identity and Reputation Special Interest Group. London, UK.

Nicholson, M. & Xiao, S.H. (2007), Consumer Channel Choice as an Operant Process, 5th International Conference on Business, Economics, Management & Marketing. Athens, Greece.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2007), Trick or Treat? An Examination of Marketing Relationships in a Non deceptive Counterfeit Marketplace, 5th International Conference on Business, Economics, Management & Marketing. Athens, Greece.

Xiao, S.H. & Nicholson, M. (2004), Faking It! Consumer Behaviour towards Counterfeit Goods in China, 2nd International Conference on Business, Economics, Management & Marketing. Athens, Greece.

Hindmarsh, S. & Nicholson, M. (2004),  Toys for Boys and the Girl Game Jinx: Sex differences in computer gaming, 2nd International Conference on Business, Economics, Management & Marketing. Athens, Greece.

Nicholson, M., Clarke, I. & Blakemore, M. (2001). Multichannel Consumer Behaviour in the Retail Fashion Sector, 11th International Conference on Research in the Distributive Trades. Tilburg, NL.