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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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