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Is love really blind? The effect of emotional brand attachment on the perceived risk of really new products

Khaled Aboulnasr (Department of Marketing, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)
Gina A. Tran (Department of Marketing, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 18 July 2019

Issue publication date: 20 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of emotional brand attachment in consumers’ evaluation of new products that represent technological innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative study was conducted using survey data from a nationally representative probability sample of US consumers (n = 624) to understand the role of emotional brand attachment in the context of consumers’ evaluation of really new products (RNPs). A framework was developed and tested using structural equation modeling that included emotional brand attachment, brand trust, product incongruity, product familiarity, perceived risk, willingness to try, product evaluation and word-of-mouth intentions.

Findings

The results support the role of emotional brand attachment in the diffusion of RNPs. Specifically, results indicated that increased brand attachment reduces consumers’ perceived risk associated with a RNP and increases brand trust. Both constructs played a key role in shaping willingness to try the innovation, word-of-mouth intentions and product evaluation. Findings of this paper add explanatory power to demand-prediction models that more accurately describe the mechanism of the innovation adoption process. For marketing managers, the results emphasize the importance of consumer–brand emotional connections.

Research limitations/implications

The paper used a cross-sectional design; it would be interesting to use a longitudinal design to examine if the role of emotional brand attachment changes over time and how the changes might impact consumers’ perceptions and behaviors in the context of RNPs.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to explore the role of emotional brand attachment in the context of RNPs and consumers’ potential behavioral outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Aboulnasr, K. and Tran, G.A. (2020), "Is love really blind? The effect of emotional brand attachment on the perceived risk of really new products", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 81-96. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-09-2018-2005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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