Consumer valorization strategies in traumatic extraordinary experiences

  • Lez Trujillo TorresEmail author
  • Benét DeBerry-Spence
Original Empirical Research


A cancer diagnosis can mark the beginning of one of the most resource-demanding experiences and traumatic journeys of one’s life. Surprisingly, little is known about how consumers assign value, namely valorize, in these complex, extraordinary experiences. Using sociocultural trauma perspectives and a qualitative study of cancer health consumers, we demonstrate that consumers valorize through the (re)construction of trauma memories and use three strategies: metaphorical framing, flesh-witnessing, and commemorating. These enable consumers to construct an enduring life story, to claim authority and knowledge of witnessing trauma, and to honor and preserve meanings and memories. We demonstrate that consumer valorization in a non-hedonic context is fluid, continuous, and embedded in broader sociocultural contexts. These findings contribute to the literatures of value, extraordinary experiences, and trauma.


Consumer valorization Traumatic experiences Value Cancer journeys Health services Blogging Extraordinary experiences Trauma 



The authors are grateful to the special issue editors, review team, Alev Kuruoglu, Maija Renko, and Søren Askegaard for their contributions to the development of and/or feedback on content in this manuscript. We also give a special thanks to bloggers and interviewees who shared their personal journeys.

Supplementary material

11747_2019_645_MOESM1_ESM.docx (80 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 79 kb)


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingESSEC Business SchoolCergy-Pontoise CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Managerial StudiesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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