Kimberley Mosher

Marketing PhD Candidate

Smith School of Business, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario CANADA. 


I am interested in how consumers engage with consumer journeys and develop their relationships with brands, in both imagined and dynamic contexts. Presently, my dissertation focuses on consumers who perceive desired consumption experiences as unattainable in some way and I both examine the experience consumers create through their imagination and the underlying processes present when consumers engage with desired consumption items through their imagination. I also explore how consumers deal with changes that brands may make as part of their strategic decision making. In my research, I employ methods of survey design, interviews and scenario-based experimental designs.

Two questions guide my current research interests:

  • What value can the imagination offer consumers, regardless of their progress through the consumption journey, and what role do these interactions with the imagination play in the overall consumption journeys consumers take?
  • When consumers have an ongoing relationship with a brand, what consequences do consumers experience when brands make changes?

Dissertation Paper AbstracT 

Consuming via the Imagination: Gaining Value through Imaginative Mental Experiences

When consumers desire items or experiences, they are often faced with the realization that not all desires are attainable. Whatever the reason, consumers who have unattainable consumption desires may vividly explore their desires through the imagination, allowing them to gain value from the creation of an imaginative mental experience. Imaginative mental experiences focus on the consumption experience consumers wish to have as well as the imagined future in which they have attained their consumption desires. While consumers who recognize their desires are presently unattainable do not engage in the traditionally understood consumer journeys (Lemon and Verhoef 2016), consumers can embark on a consumption experience that allows them to experience their consumption desires through the imagination – a process that offers value to consumers.

Three studies (consumer survey, consumer interviews, scenario-based experimental designs) provide evidence that these experiences allow consumers to imaginatively explore the desired futures they wish to experience while also exploring multiple varying scenarios that may be possible. Experimental evidence suggests that consumers who know more about their desired consumption items have stronger outcomes of fulfillment but also disappointment in the future than those who know less about their desired consumption items, suggesting that imaginative mental experiences are offer a double-edged sword to consumers who establish a concrete understanding of what they wish to attain. Additionally, when perceptions of the chances of attaining their desired item in the future are salient, those with smaller chances have stronger feelings of stress and being scared, yet are also more entertained through their imaginative mental experiences than those with large chances of consumption. The processes of imaginative mental experiences therefore come with some costs, yet consumers engage to gain entertainment and a sense of understanding of what may be possible in the future. These findings expand our understanding of consumption processes and specifically add knowledge to the understanding and power of the imagination as it relates to the pre-purchase stage of the consumer journey.

Selected Research in Progress

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin, “Developing a Framework for Envisioning Consumption Experiences: Consuming via the Imagination,” Manuscript in preparation.

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin, “Consumer Responses to Target Market Expansion,” Manuscript in preparation.

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin, “Deriving Value via the Imagination: How Knowledge Level and Perceptions of Chances alter Imaginative Mental Experiences,” Three studies completed.

PEER-REVIEWED conference pROCEEDINGS and Presentations

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin (2017), “Unattainable Desires and Imaginative Mental Experiences,” Winter Educators Conference – American Marketing Association, Poster Session, Orlando, USA, February 2017. (Working Paper)

Kimberley Mosher and Peter A. Dacin (2016),"Alternative Consumption Experiences Via Imaginative Fantasy Creation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 44, eds. Page Moreau and Stefano Puntoni, Duluth, MN: Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 564-564. (Competitive Paper)

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin (2016), “The Effects of Doing Business: Consumer Responses to Typical Business Changes,” in 2016 Summer AMA Conference Volume 27 – “Regaining Relevance: Doing Research that Reshapes the Practice of Marketing,” eds. Bernard Jarworski and Neil Morgan, Chicago, IL: American Marketing Association, Pages: B-40. (Competitive Paper)

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin (2016), “Taking Consumers for Granted: How Brand Changes May Have Big Consequences,” in the Academy of Marketing’s 11th Global Brand Conference “Brands that Do Good”, Bradford, UK: Pages 195-200. (Competitive Paper)

Mosher, Kimberley and Peter A. Dacin (2015), "How Brand Changes Impact Self-Brand Connections with Brands," Administrative Sciences of Canada Annual Conference, Halifax, Canada, June 2015. (Competitive Paper)