A New Look at Consumer Vulnerability: The Why, What, How and Where of Adopting a Strengths-Based Approach

All too often, approaches for providing support for consumers experiencing vulnerability apply a deficit-based lens, rather than leveraging the strengths of these consumers. However, scholars and practitioners alike are increasingly shifting their mindsets and practices towards a strengths-based approach.

This event was an interactive workshop co-hosted by the BEST Centre (QUT)ServCollab and the Australian Association of Social Marketing, where our panel of experts discussed a range of perspectives on adopting a strengths-based approach. The four presentations were:

  • Why serving all of humanity is needed (Prof. Ray P. Fisk – ServCollab & Texas State University)
  • What does it mean to change the narrative of consumer vulnerability using a strengths-based lens? (Dr. Rowan Bedggood – Swinburne University of Technology & GEER Australia)
  • How to move from loss to gain framing of social issues: The Women’s Butterfly Project for empowering mature women (Prof. Rebekah Russell-Bennett – BEST & QUT)
  • Where do human rights fit in strengths-based service design? (Prof. Maria Raciti – University of the Sunshine Coast)

In conjunction with these four presentations, we ran some interactive mini-activities. You are still able to complete these activities by clicking the links below:

Event Recording

About Our Panel

Associate Professor Joy Parkinson (Moderator)

Joy Parkinson is Research Director for Social Marketing @ Griffith. Joy is a consumer behaviour expert working in systems social marketing, transformative services research, service thinking in social marketing and social value creation. Dr Parkinson’s expertise is in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health services, including digital services. Joy’s research interests include transformative service design for behaviour change in healthy weight management and more recently, service design for minority and disadvantaged consumers. Behaviour change programs Joy has developed have directly engaged over 200, 000 participants resulting in improved health behaviours and health quality of life. Joy’s exceptional oral and written communication and presentation skills are demonstrated through over 100 publications and presentations, which include book chapters, articles in national and international journals, and invitations to deliver keynote lectures in national and international forums. Dr Parkinson has published her research in a variety of academic journals including Journal of Service Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, European Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Business Research. Dr Parkinson is a management board member of Australian Association of Social Marketing and the Evaluation Strategic Advisor on the Queensland Health Alliance My health for life Operations Management Committee.

Professor Raymond P. Fisk (Texas State University, USA)

Raymond P. Fisk is Professor of Marketing at Texas State University. His research focuses on services marketing, service design, and transformative service research. He has published in the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and others. Ray has published six books including Serving Customers: Global Services Marketing Perspectives. In 1993, he founded the AMA Services Marketing Special Interest Group (SERVSIG). In 2005, Ray received the Career Contributions to the Services Discipline Award from SERVSIG. In 2012, he received the Grönroos Service Research Award from the Hanken School of Economics in Finland. In 2016, the American Marketing Association made him the Inaugural Recipient of the SIG Leadership Award. In 2018, Ray founded ServCollab, which seeks to serve humanity through collaborative service research.

Dr Rowan Bedggood

Rowan Bedggood is a social marketer, a behaviour change scientist, and the Chair of GEER Australia. She has extensive experience in Marketing with over 30 years teaching, studying and researching in the field. Throughout her career, she has won university and national teaching awards. As a researcher, Rowan enjoys applying her knowledge to find innovative solutions to real-world problems. Her passion is to find ways to bring about improved outcomes for people and planet. In particular, she is concerned about environmental and cultural sustainability, and people’s wellbeing. Rowan has worked on numerous projects with people experiencing vulnerability, particularly low-income households and their lived experiences of energy hardship and inequities. She has also worked with Indigenous households, communities and corporations for many years. She conducts governance training and supports economic development with remote Indigenous communities. In a recent project, Rowan worked on the development of an innovative way of building the social resilience of marginalised groups.

Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Rebekah Russell-Bennett is a professor in marketing and co-director of the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST) at Queensland University of Technology. She has an international reputation for research and industry relevance in the field of Social Marketing (using commercial marketing to address social problems such as alcohol consumption, chronic disease, water usage, electricity use, public transport and diet).  Rebekah uses theories and frameworks from services marketing and social marketing to co-create useful services and products that support people in their life, protect the planet and enable organisational success. Rebekah is immediate past National President of the Australian Association of Social Marketing (the peak industry body for social marketing in Australia). For details of Rebekah’s Real World Projects in Social Marketing visit her Service thinking website. Rebekah is the winner of the 2020 Robert Johnson Best Paper award in the Journal of Service Management on the topic of Transformative Services and Wellbeing. Rebekah holds a PhD in marketing, is the co-editor for the Journal of Services Marketing (A ranked Q1 journal) and has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles with 90 articles in international journals.

Professor Maria Raciti

Maria Raciti is a Professor of Marketing at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Maria is passionate about social justice, particularly redressing educational inequality. Professor Raciti is a Director of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre, an Adjunct Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education and was part of an Australian Government departmental task force that led to sector-wide reform to tertiary education. Maria is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), is regularly engaged as an expert advisor and has undertaken several large-scale research projects that have produced meaningful and impactful outcomes.


Start Date: 13/07/2021 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 9am (AEST)
End Time: 10.30am (AEST)
Cost: FREE
Organiser: BEST, ServCollab and AASM