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The influence of retailers’ family firm image on new product acceptance: An empirical investigation in the German FMCG market

Susanne Beck (Department of Marketing and Consumer Behavior, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany AND Friedrichshafen Institute of Family Entrepreneurship, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany)
Peter Kenning (Chair for Business Economics, especially Marketing, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 14 December 2015




The long-term survival of companies depends strongly on successful new product introductions. However, insufficient customer new product acceptance (NPA) often leads to high failure rates for manufacturers. Retailers, as intermediaries between the company and the customer, often obtain a crucial role as primary touchpoint. Previous research shows that customers’ perception of a company is transferable to its products and thus influences NPA. Family firms, as successful company type, are supposed to positively influence NPA. The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether manufacturers achieve a strategic advantage regarding NPA when choosing retailer that are perceived as family firms.


Conducting an online survey, the authors tested whether the family firm image (FFI) of a retailer’s brand influences customers’ belief in the trustworthiness of a new product brand and their purchase intention, which reflect two components of NPA.


The results indicate that a strongly perceived FFI has a direct positive effect and, through perceived trustworthiness, an indirect effect on NPA. Those effects are moderated by the customers’ perceived uncertainty about the product. The authors show that aside from increasing trustworthiness, a retailer’s FFI creates a substantial strategic advantage that increases NPA and hence decreases manufacturers’ failure rates.


This paper is the first to investigate retailer brand influence on NPA. By providing a new definition and measurement of customers’ family firm perception, this study represents the first quantitative intent to assess the consequences of such perception.



Beck, S. and Kenning, P. (2015), "The influence of retailers’ family firm image on new product acceptance: An empirical investigation in the German FMCG market", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 43 No. 12, pp. 1126-1143.



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