Given the strategic importance of firm reputation because of its potential for value creation, extant reputation research focuses on favorable customer outcomes. This study proposes and tests a model that relates the customer-based corporate reputation (CBR) of fashion retailers to customer-perceived risk and two relational outcomes – trust and commitment. In addition, this study aims to test whether or not the hypothesized paths are equally strong for male and female shoppers.
Data for this study were collected through an online survey approach. Using a sample of more than 300 retail customers and structural equation modeling, the authors tested the hypotheses.
Drawing on previous research, the commitment–trust theory of relationship marketing and signaling theory, the authors find support for direct and indirect links between retailers’ reputation and relational outcomes, the intervening role of perceived risk and the partially moderational role of gender.
The findings of this research suggest that a retailer’s positive reputation can reduce customers’ risk and engender trust, which in turn promotes customer commitment.
A growing number of examples suggests that retailers (specially fashion retailers) need to manage their reputation, which can come under threat in myriad ways, and its outcomes. However, so far, no individual study empirically investigated any of these reputation outcomes simultaneously or considered gender differences. Thus, the authors address an important research gap by examining the mechanism through which CBR affects relevant customer outcomes and by considering contextual factors.
This research was partly funded by the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation.
Walsh, G., Schaarschmidt, M. and Ivens, S. (2017), "Effects of customer-based corporate reputation on perceived risk and relational outcomes: empirical evidence from gender moderation in fashion retailing", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 227-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-07-2016-1267
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