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Rare eclipse creates unique opportunity for businesses, consumer behavior researcher says

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LAWRENCE — From the marketing and sale of special glasses to smaller communities across the country preparing for a sudden boon of visitors, Monday's total solar eclipse presents a unique opportunity for some businesses, according to a University of Kansas researcher of marketing and consumer behavior.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, this will be the first coast-to-coast eclipse in the country since 1918.

Jessica Li, assistant professor of marketing and consumer behavior in the School of Business, can discuss how the Aug. 21 solar eclipse could influence business and consumers. Her current research investigates how emotions and motivations influence consumer behavior, judgment and decision-making.

Li said limited opportunity of being able to participate in something both by time and geographic location — a line from Oregon through northeastern Kansas to the South Carolina coast — will play a factor in influencing people's spending behavior.

"The principle of scarcity often can motivate consumers to act, especially through the 'fear of missing out' on something," she said.

To arrange an interview with Li, contact George Diepenbrock at 785-864-8853 or gdiepenbrock@ku.edu.

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