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The impact of comparative affective states on online brand perceptions: a five-country study

Nikoletta-Theofania Siamagka (Department of Management, King's College London, London, UK)
George Christodoulides (Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK)
Nina Michaelidou (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 11 May 2015




The extant literature highlights the significant role of brand perceptions in buying behavior and brand equity. Despite the importance of brand perceptions and the proliferation of online brands, research in an online context is still scarce. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap by investigating the effect of positive and negative comparative affective states (online vs offline) on online brand perceptions. Consistent with existing evidence, highlighting the role of culture on brand perceptions and affective states, this research is conducted in a cross-national setting to identify the stability of the hypothesized relationships among countries.


The study uses consumer survey data from five countries (UK, USA, Australia, Canada and China). After imposing metric and factor variance invariance, we used multi-group CFA to test the hypotheses regarding the impact of positive and negative comparative affective states on online brand perceptions across the five countries in the sample.


The results show that positive comparative affective states have a significant and positive impact on online brand perceptions across the countries studied, although the impact size varies by country. The findings also show that negative comparative affective states, which are context-specific and not induced by any particular brand, have no effect on online brand perceptions across the country samples.

Practical implications

Managers can use the findings reported in this research to inform their branding strategies. For instance, managers may focus on triggering feelings of comfort online as these lead to more favorable online brand perceptions rather than on supressing feelings of caution, as the latter do not directly impact online brand perceptions.


The study builds on and extends the recent work of Christodoulides et al. (2013) by focussing on online brand perceptions and looking into the role of affective states in a cross-national setting.



Siamagka, N.-T., Christodoulides, G. and Michaelidou, N. (2015), "The impact of comparative affective states on online brand perceptions: a five-country study", International Marketing Review, Vol. 32 No. 3/4, pp. 438-454.



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