This paper aims to explore and discuss the concept of brand forgiveness. It empirically assesses the relationships among three types of brand transgressions, brand forgiveness and three consumer coping strategies.
A 3 × 2 research design is used to evaluate the effects of three types of brand transgression (performance, image and value) and two degrees of severity (high vs low) for brand forgiveness. Then, this paper use a 2 × 3 research design, evaluating two degrees of brand forgiveness (high vs low) together with their effects on three different consumer coping strategies (switching, attacking and purchasing again). Using a representative sample of 472 US consumers, various hypotheses related to these research designs are tested.
The results show that almost half (48 per cent) of the consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to forgive a brand compared to about a third (32 per cent) who are likely or very likely to forgive. The results of ANOVA show the more severe the brand transgression, the less likely the forgiveness. Consumers who are more likely to forgive are less likely to avoid the brand or engage in attacking behaviors; they are also more likely to purchase the brand again. The results of regression analyses show that consumers witnessing a performance-based brand transgression are more likely to forgive the brand than in the case of image- or value-based brand transgressions.
This paper explores and outlines the brand forgiveness construct, both theoretically and empirically.
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