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The African American consumer revisited: brand loyalty, word‐of‐mouth and the effects of the black experience

Jeffrey Steven Podoshen (Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 27 June 2008




The intent of this article is to explore whether there is a difference between African Americans and non African‐Americans in the use of word‐of‐mouth and brand loyalty in response to the purchase of durable goods (automobiles). Additionally, this article looks to explore preference for “black‐owned” goods and services and feelings about purchasing goods from firms that once had ties to slavery.


This article utilizes survey data obtained from over 800 respondents with analysis performed using regression analysis.


This study shows no significant difference in brand loyalty and word‐of‐mouth between African Americans and non African‐Americans and no significant preference for black owned goods and services. Additionally it was found that while a majority of African American consumers believe that most American firms have ties to slavery, this does not act as a factor in the purchase decision.

Practical implications

This article can help firms plan their marketing strategy in terms of how they will utilize word of mouth where African American consumers comprise a significant part of their target market. Additionally, this research can help firms to understand the context of brand loyalty in terms of looking at different ethnic groups within the USA.


The majority of literature regarding African American consumption patterns is extremely outdated, with most written over 20 years ago. The socio‐economic status of many African Americans has improved considerably, thereby making a fresh look at this group a necessity. This article redresses this deficit



Steven Podoshen, J. (2008), "The African American consumer revisited: brand loyalty, word‐of‐mouth and the effects of the black experience", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 211-222.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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