This research distinguishes between abstract brand concepts built through the development of diverse product portfolios (i.e. portfolio abstractness) and those built…
This research distinguishes between abstract brand concepts built through the development of diverse product portfolios (i.e. portfolio abstractness) and those built through establishing human-like images (i.e. image abstractness), and investigates the joint effect of the two types of brand abstractness on building brand equity.
The three studies presented use experimental design with participants in a laboratory setting and members of an online participant panel.
Three studies demonstrate that while building abstractness by expanding a brand’s product portfolio can generate favorable brand evaluations, this positive effect is marginal compared to when the brand is imbued with human-like characteristics. Furthermore, the favorable effects on brand equity because of abstractness associated with a human-like brand image are evident in protection from brand dilution in the face of negative publicity.
The findings suggest that a consideration of different forms of abstractness is key to unlocking the complexities of understanding customer-based brand equity.
This research shows that although building abstractness through a diversified product portfolio or a symbolic, human-like brand image can favorably impact customer-based brand equity (i.e. attitudes and responses to negative publicity), the former strategy has a marginal effect compared to the latter.
This is the first research to conceptualize brand abstractness as stemming from broad portfolios or from human-like brand images. Additionally, it provides a holistic understanding of how these two forms of abstractness jointly influence brand evaluations and responses to negative publicity.
Very little research addresses whether the values that consumers bring to a situation can affect their reactions to a brand failure. This paper suggests the interesting…
Very little research addresses whether the values that consumers bring to a situation can affect their reactions to a brand failure. This paper suggests the interesting possibility that consumers may react very differently to the same brand failure depending upon their values. Here, the authors introduce a new construct to the marketing literature – honor values – and demonstrate its effect on responses to brand failures.
Three experiments and one secondary data study were utilized.
Across four studies, honor values are shown to aggravate consumers’ desire for vengeance following a brand failure. That is, as honor values increase, so too does desire for vengeance in the face of a brand failure. Additionally, this desire can be attenuated by allowing the consumer to play a role in resolving the failure or by giving a heartfelt apology.
High-honor consumers are a major obstacle for firms facing a brand failure. To overcome this challenge, the authors offer strategies, including (1) allowing high-honor consumers to suggest ways to punish the offending employee, and (2) offering simple, heartfelt apologies to high-honor consumers, which are as effective as monetary compensations.