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How brand concepts represented as human values promote evaluation: The triggering role of incidental emotions

Yi Wu (Department of Marketing, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Yuanyuan Cai (SILC Business School, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China)
Jiaxun He (Faculty of Economics and Management, Asia Europe Business School, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 6 August 2020



The purpose of this paper is to examine how incidental emotions interact with brand concepts that are represented as human values to influence consumers’ attitude toward brands. It also explores the effect of construal level on such interactional effect.


Three incidental emotion × brand concepts between-subject experiments were performed on consumers. The first two experiments used real brands as stimuli, while the third one featured a fictitious brand.


Results revealed that the motivational congruency between incidental emotions and brand concepts leads to favorable consumer responses toward the targeted brand by inducing an experience of fluency. However, such effect only emerges among consumers with a high construal level.


This paper provides a new insight about the effect of brand concept represented as human values by identifying the role of situational factors (incidental emotions) and personal factors (chronic construal level), which are also easily administered and applied in everyday marketing contexts.



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71372177; Grant No. 71602111; Grant No.71772066), the Shanghai Pujiang Program (Grant No. 14PJC047). The authors thank Jingye Zhang and Qiaoying Du for their help at the early stage of this study.


Wu, Y., Cai, Y. and He, J. (2020), "How brand concepts represented as human values promote evaluation: The triggering role of incidental emotions", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 1194-1213.



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