Paul W. Fombelle is an Associate Professor of Marketing.  He received his Ph.D. from the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.  His current research interests examine service innovation, customer feedback management, customer loyalty and relationship marketing, and service experience management. His research has appeared in The Journal of Marketing Research, The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Interactive Marketing, and Journal of Business Research.  He currently serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Business Research.  Paul loves to collaborate with industry leaders in his research. Paul’s global research partners span a variety of sectors including technology, financial, health, food/fine dining, retail, and entertainment services. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Paul worked in branding for Ogilvy and Mather in New York, where he helped managed such brands as American Express and Post Cereal.

Paul Fombelle - Curriculum Vitae

Recent scholarship includes:

Bone, Sterling A., et al. "“Mere Measurement Plus”: How Solicitation of Open-Ended Positive Feedback Influences Customer Purchase Behavior." Journal of Marketing Research (2016): jmr-14.

In two studies (a longitudinal field experiment with an established B2C national chain, and a field experiment with a B2B software manufacturer), we demonstrate that starting a survey with an open-ended positive solicitation increases customer purchase behavior. Study 1, a longitudinal field experiment, showed that one-year following the completion of a survey that began by asking customers what went well during their purchase experience, customers spent 8.25% more than customers who completed a survey that did not include the positive solicitation. In Study 2, we utilized multiple treatment groups to assess the step-wise gains of solicitation, measurement, and solicitation frame. The results demonstrated (a) a mere solicitation effect, (b) a traditional mere measurement effect, and (c) an additional “mere measurement plus” effect of an open-ended positive solicitation; all effects increased customer spending. Specifically, starting a survey with an open-ended positive solicitation resulted in a 32.88% increase in customer spending relative to a survey with no open-ended positive solicitation. The findings suggest that firms can proactively influence the feedback process. Soliciting open-ended positive feedback can create positively biased memories of an experience; the subsequent expression of those memories in an open-ended feedback format further reinforces them, making them more salient and accessible in guiding future purchase behavior.

Fombelle, Paul W., Sterling A. Bone, and Katherine N. Lemon. "Responding to the 98%: face-enhancing strategies for dealing with rejected customer ideas." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 44.6 (2016): 685-706.

Although companies receive a staggering amount of ideas from consumers, only a small fraction of the ideas are actually usable, with as many as 98% being rejected. This research examines the influence of firms’ responses to consumer-generated ideas on consumers’ self-perceptions of face and their tendency to return in the future with more ideas. Specifically, we examine the impact of firm response to consumers’ rejected ideas. The results show that consumers respond to a rejected idea with an increased of face threat, leading to a decrease in future idea sharing. However, the presence of face enhancement reduces these negative effects. Recognizing managers’ dilemma, we identify three buffering responses that may drive perceptions of face enhancement and thus buffer the negative repercussions of face threat from rejecting consumer ideas: (1) considering consumers’ past experiences (success/failure) with submitting ideas, (2) creating a unique group identity, and (3) offering an excuse. We also show the impact of a public versus private firm acknowledgment of consumer ideas on both consumers’ perceptions of face and future idea sharing behaviors.


Ph.D. Business Administration, Emphasis: Marketing
W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Completed: May 2010
B.S. Business Administration, Emphasis: Marketing, Magna cum Laude,
Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
Graduated: May 2003

Past Employment History

Account Executive- American Express, Ogilvy & Mather, NY
Jan 2005 – July 2005

  • Assisted in the development and implementation of a fully integrated branding initiative for American Express.
  • Spearheaded a new campaign which targeted small business owners across America.
  • Managed overall team budget: $80 Million.
  • Directed all print, radio, and TV production/ Organized and facilitated focus/research groups, and market research.

Ass’t Account Executive- American Express, Ogilvy & Mather, NY
Sept 2003- Dec 2004

  • Coordinated communication and activities between client, creative, media, and traffic departments. Duties included multi-million dollar budget management, competitive analysis, database maintenance, and market research.

Marketing Consultant, Smith Marketing, NY
Nov 2002- July 2003

  • Conducted primary and secondary research for several local nonprofit organizations, communicated with clients, and wrote briefs.