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Building brand equity with environmental communication: an empirical investigation in France

Florence Benoit‐Moreau (DRM‐DMSP, Paris‐Dauphine University, Paris, France)
Béatrice Parguel (IRG, Paris Est University, Paris, France)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 17 May 2011

3597

Abstract

Purpose

Using Keller's brand equity framework, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the firm's environmental communication on brand equity, and specifically its impact on brand image, through the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations.

Design/methodology/approach

A between‐subjects experimental design tests the hypotheses with a generalisable sample of 165 French consumers.

Findings

Environmental communication positively influences the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations, therefore improving brand equity. Two moderators reinforce the impact of environmental communication on brand equity through the strength of brand environmental associations: the perceived congruence between the brand and the cause, and the perceived credibility of the claim.

Practical implications

In the context of greater consumer pressure regarding business ethics, managers should favour environmental arguments in their corporate communication to improve brand image through societal associations. Doing so, they should focus their communication on causes that are congruent with their brands to facilitate brand equity building, and ensure they are credible when proclaiming these arguments.

Originality/value

Despite existing research on corporate social responsibility (CSR), no studies focus on the specific impact of CSR communication on brand equity. The paper provides initial empirical evidence about the positive effect of environmental claims on customer‐based brand equity.

Keywords

Citation

Benoit‐Moreau, F. and Parguel, B. (2011), "Building brand equity with environmental communication: an empirical investigation in France", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 100-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/14502191111130334

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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