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Brand equity, online reviews, and message trust: the moderating role of persuasion knowledge

Fayez Ahmad (G. Brint Ryan College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Francisco Guzmán (G. Brint Ryan College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 13 June 2020

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021

1398

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether a message from a brand with stronger brand equity generates more trust than a message from a brand with lower brand equity, and thus is more likely to encourage consumers to write online reviews. This paper also explores what happens when consumers become aware that brands are trying to persuade them to write a review.

Design/methodology/approach

Through three experimental studies, where participants were randomly assigned to a brand that has either a stronger or weaker brand equity, participants’ intention to write reviews was measured. Trust in the message was measured to study its mediating role, and persuasion knowledge of the participants was manipulated to investigate its moderating effect.

Findings

The findings confirm that consumers are more likely to write online reviews when a message comes from a brand that has stronger brand equity, trust in the message mediates the relationship between brand equity and consumer intention to write an online review, and persuasion knowledge has a differential effect on consumer intention to write reviews.

Originality/value

The study adds to the brand equity and online review literature by providing evidence that a higher level of consumer trust on brands that have stronger brand equity leads to an increased intention to write a review for the brand. It also shows that consumers’ awareness of the motive of the brand is more beneficial for brands with strong brand equity, contributing to persuasion knowledge literature.

Keywords

Citation

Ahmad, F. and Guzmán, F. (2021), "Brand equity, online reviews, and message trust: the moderating role of persuasion knowledge", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 549-564. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-09-2019-2564

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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