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Testing the effects of reputation, value congruence and brand identity on word-of-mouth intentions

Leping You (Media, Journalism and Film, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA)
Linda C. Hon (Public Relations, The University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 24 March 2021

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021




This study developed and tested a consumer relations model to determine linkages among brand identity, reputation and value congruence with positive Word-of- Mouth (WOM) intentions.


An intercept survey was conducted during which 350 participants were asked about their perceptions of the store from where they are most likely to purchase coffee among options including multi-national corporations (MNCs) that have global brand identity and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with local brand identity.


Reputation and value congruence were positively related to positive WOM intentions. Unexpectedly, respondents indicated more positive WOM intentions toward SMEs than MNCs.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggested that value congruence and reputation are positively associated with WOM intentions. Yet, consumers indicated greater WOM intentions toward SMEs than MNCs, which implies that SMEs may be unique and have the ability to create more emotional attachment between businesses and consumers.

Practical implications

To promote consumers' positive WOM intentions, corporate/brand communication practitioners need to build a favorable reputation through effective communication that externalizes organizational values among consumers and includes companies' commitment to the communities in which they operate.


Like SMEs, MNCs should build quality relationships with the local community where they conduct business. Also, based on definitions of values and values congruence in the research literature, an original five-item scale of value congruence was developed and validated to measure the congruence between consumers' personal values and their perceptions of a company's values in the context of consumer relationship management.



Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


You, L. and Hon, L.C. (2021), "Testing the effects of reputation, value congruence and brand identity on word-of-mouth intentions", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 160-181.



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