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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Zifei Fay Chen, Cheng Hong and Cong Li

Consumers tend to form their perceptions about a company via two associations: corporate ability (CA) that centers on expertise in producing quality products and corporate

1715

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers tend to form their perceptions about a company via two associations: corporate ability (CA) that centers on expertise in producing quality products and corporate social responsibility (CSR) that focuses on societal obligations. To date, investigations on the adoption of such association-based corporate communication strategies are yet to address the interactive and multi-source features of social media. Drawing theoretical insights from corporate associations and the warranting principle, the purpose of this paper is to fill the gap and examine the joint effect of association-based corporate posting strategy and corresponding electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) comment valence on social media.

Design/methodology/approach

A three (corporate posting strategy: CSR vs CA vs hybrid (CSR + CA)) by two (eWOM comment valence: positive vs negative) between-subjects experiment (n=193) was conducted.

Findings

The effect of corporate posting strategy on consumers’ CSR associations was found to be significant only when eWOM comment valence was positive. Significant main effects of both posting strategy and eWOM comment valence were found on CA associations, perceived corporate reputation, and purchase intention.

Originality/value

This study extends the theoretical framework of corporate associations to the interactive context on social media and provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of association-based posting strategies when they are jointly presented with eWOM comments at different valence levels. Findings of this study also provide implications for business and communication professionals to communicate with consumers on social media more effectively.

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Tim Oliver Brexendorf and Kevin Lane Keller

Most research on branding highlights the role of associations for a single brand. Many firms, however, have multiple brands and/or different versions of one brand. The…

7604

Abstract

Purpose

Most research on branding highlights the role of associations for a single brand. Many firms, however, have multiple brands and/or different versions of one brand. The latter is largely the case for many corporate brands. This paper aims to broaden the understanding of corporate brand associations and their transfer within the firm’s brand and product portfolio. In particular, this paper also examines the concept of corporate brand innovativeness and the influence of brand architecture as supportive and restrictive boundary conditions for its transfer.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper explains the nature, benefits and challenges of corporate brand innovativeness within the context of a firm’s brand architecture. On the basis of a literature review, the authors provide an overview of the domain and derive avenues for future research.

Findings

Research and practice have not fully realised the importance of corporate brand images for supporting a firms’ product portfolio. In particular, (corporate) marketing managers need to consider the potential value of favourable perceptions of corporate brand innovativeness across products and the moderating role of brand architecture.

Research limitations/implications

More empirical research is needed to understand the reciprocal relationship and transfer between corporate and product brand associations and equity.

Practical implications

A corporate marketing perspective allows firms to use corporate brand associations to support products and services for that brand. This paper discusses perceived corporate brand innovativeness as one particularly important corporate brand association.

Originality/value

The authors discuss the use of corporate brand associations under the consideration of brand architectures and boundaries and draw on several research streams in the brand management literature. Much of the branding and innovation literature centres on the product level; research on corporate brand innovativeness has been relatively neglected.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Sora Kim and Scott Rader

This paper aims to propose a typology of corporate communication strategy; to investigate whether the typology is present among Fortune 500 corporations; and to explore…

3481

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a typology of corporate communication strategy; to investigate whether the typology is present among Fortune 500 corporations; and to explore whether there is a dominant strategy and industrial differences among them.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of all 2008 Fortune 500 corporate web sites was undertaken.

Findings

This paper finds that there are three corporate communication strategies used to affect publics' corporate associations: corporate ability (CAb) strategy; corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy; and a hybrid strategy. The results demonstrate that a majority of corporate public relations for Fortune 500 companies emphasize a CAb communication strategy over a CSR or hybrid strategy, whereas the top 100 Fortune 500 corporations focus on a CSR strategy over the other two strategies. Industrial differences are also found in adopting different corporate strategy among the companies.

Originality/value

The applied value of this research it is that provides convincing and realistic insights about contemporary corporate communication strategy and a valuable set of communicative directives to public relations practitioners managing corporate‐context communications with stakeholders since it explores dominant corporate strategy among Fortune 500 companies.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Byeong-Joon Moon, Lee W. Lee and Chang Hoon Oh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship among consumers’ corporate associations, consumer-corporate connection, and corporate brand loyalty, with a…

6756

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship among consumers’ corporate associations, consumer-corporate connection, and corporate brand loyalty, with a particular focus on the moderating role of national culture.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is tested on American and South Korean subjects. Structural equation modeling is used to test the hypothesized framework.

Findings

The positive influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) associations on social self-concept connection is stronger in collectivist than individualist culture, whereas the positive influence of personal self-concept connection on his/her loyalty to the corporate brand is stronger in individualist than collectivist culture.

Research limitations/implications

The study relied on participants’ memory about a product and a manufacturing company of a product. It is possible that their memories about the product and manufacturing company could be incomplete and be tainted by their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a particular product they experienced rather than overall brand image of the company’s products.

Practical implications

Firms are advised to assess how customers of the target market across different national cultures perceive their CSR initiatives and corporate competences in deciding on the type of images and associations to invest and build, that is, either authentic CSR activities or product quality competence.

Originality/value

A substantiation of the moderating role of national culture on the impact of a consumer’s corporate associations on his/her self-concept connections as well as on the impact of self-concept connections on his/her corporate brand loyalty.

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Tim Lu, Xia Wei and Kungchi Li

The paper aims to establish a causal relationship model that helps to realize how consumer involvement with the cause moderates the effect of company-cause fit on…

1130

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to establish a causal relationship model that helps to realize how consumer involvement with the cause moderates the effect of company-cause fit on consumers’ corporate associations, and how their corporate associations regarding a company’s social responsibility programs influence their satisfaction with the company and the company’s corporate image, in the backdrop that the use of corporate social responsibility initiatives to affect consumers’ preference has become a common strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

In the main study, the authors conducted a between-subjects factorial design to test the research model. A total of 400 questionnaires were distributed, and a valid sample of 389 participants was obtained.

Findings

The results show that high-fit programs have a positive influence on the perceived corporate ability (CA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) associations. CA associations directly influence corporate image and consumer satisfaction, while CSR associations indirectly impact consumer satisfaction through corporate image. Furthermore, consumers’ involvement with the cause increases the relationship between company-cause fit and CA associations.

Originality/value

These conclusions have important implications for a better understanding of consumer evaluation of CSR initiatives. Theoretically, this research increases understanding of the interaction effects of perceived company-cause fit and consumer involvement with the cause on consumer evaluation of a company engaged in CSR, and a richer insight into the role of CA and CSR associations in consumer evaluations of companies engaged in CSR campaigns. Managerially, this research shows how managers can choose CSR programs causes that are most likely to promote favorable customer CA and CSR associations, thereby improving the company’s corporate image and customer satisfaction.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Henrik Uggla

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss the strategic positioning of associations that can be established between a corporate brand and entities in its…

22951

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss the strategic positioning of associations that can be established between a corporate brand and entities in its surrounding network such as brands, product categories, persons, places and institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

A semiotic approach is used to describe image transfer processes between the corporate brand and other entities. The paper provides a structure to leverage the corporate brand in different product market contexts.

Findings

The paper offers the “corporate brand association base model” as a conceptual framework for brand‐to‐brand collaboration. The model structures how a corporate brand can develop more expansive brand architecture through transfer of image from sources of brand equity in the internal brand hierarchy and surrounding brand network.

Practical implications

A useful source for brand managers in the process of co‐positioning corporate brands and assessing risks, in relation to brands, product categories, persons and institutions. The framework will make it easier for brand managers to design strategic brand alliances.

Originality/value

The value of this study is that it has presented a model that adds depth and texture to the current academic discussion of corporate brand capitalization, by introducing a balance between in‐house leverage and external leverage of the corporate brand.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Jasmina Ilicic and Cynthia M. Webster

– This study aims to explore consumer brand associations and values derived from a corporate brand and a celebrity brand endorser prior to their endorsement.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore consumer brand associations and values derived from a corporate brand and a celebrity brand endorser prior to their endorsement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses both hierarchical value mapping and brand concept mapping (BCM) to identify brand attributes that translate to personal meaning for consumers and then to identify whether these attributes are encompassed by a specific brand.

Findings

Results from brand concept maps and hierarchical value maps show consumers value accessibility and customer service in financial corporate brands. Consumers value expertise in celebrity brands and respect success in both corporate and celebrity brands. A central finding is the importance of brand authenticity. Corporate brand authenticity establishes a sense of security and assists in the development of brand relationships. Celebrity brand authenticity creates consumer attention and enhances celebrity trustworthiness aiding in the development of a consumer – celebrity brand relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications for corporate brands utilizing celebrity endorsers. In terms of strategic positioning, corporate brands need to center their marketing communications on desired brand associations at the core of both the corporate and celebrity brand that translate to personal meaning for consumers.

Originality/value

This study uses a combined theoretical and methodological approach, drawing on associative network theory and means-end chain theory, and BCM and hierarchical value mapping methods, respectively, to understand and uncover personal meaning or value derived from brand associations.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Antonella La Rocca and Ivan Snehota

The purpose of this paper is to explore how corporate associations emerge in business networks focusing on mutually attributed identities in customer-supplier…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how corporate associations emerge in business networks focusing on mutually attributed identities in customer-supplier relationships. The role of the mutually perceived identities for interaction behaviours of the parties is examined and consequences of multiple emergent identities for management are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a conceptual one starting from an overview of prior research on corporate associations in marketing, findings on distinctive features of business markets and review of studies on identity in interaction processes.

Findings

Departing from various strands of research on the origin and role of corporate associations in the literature the authors argue that corporate associations, in business networks are relationship specific and continuously emergent, and that businesses acquire multiple identities in relation to main stakeholders as customers and suppliers. The relationship specificity, emergent nature and multiplicity of relationship-specific identities have consequences for management.

Originality/value

This study is among the few that explore the role of corporate associations in business-to-business context. It results in two propositions: first, that corporate associations are relationship specific and continuously emergent and, second, that businesses operating in business networks have to cope with multiple relationship-specific identities. Both propositions are original and contribute to the understanding of dynamics of business relationships and networks.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Arthur Cheng‐Hsui Chen

The purposes of this study are to identify the types of brand association and examine the relationship between association characteristics and brand equity. Based on a…

24414

Abstract

The purposes of this study are to identify the types of brand association and examine the relationship between association characteristics and brand equity. Based on a literature review, two types of brand association are identified. One is product association including functional attribute association and non‐functional attribute association. The other is organizational association including corporate ability association and corporate social responsibility association. An empirical study measures the numbers of association, deriving from free association, and examines its differences between three pairs of high and low equity brands. We found that the corporate social responsibility association is almost absent across four high equity brands from subject’s free associations. Based on the other three contents of brand association, we use its total number of association to identify the orientation of association for each brand. The results are the same as that of using the favorable association. In addition, we also found that the number of brand association and total association have a significant relationship with brand equity. But the core of the brand association, instead of total association, is the key factor of driving brand equity building. The greater the numbers of the core brand association, the higher the brand equity. However, there is no significant difference for the other brand associations between the high and low equity brands. Marketers should develop the core association to position its brand strategy to create competitive advantages.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 10 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Mobin Fatma, Imran Khan and Zillur Rahman

The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of two types of corporate associationscorporate ability (CA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – on…

3986

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of two types of corporate associationscorporate ability (CA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) – on consumer brand loyalty in retail banks in India.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey on 489 banking consumers was carried out. To achieve research objectives, test hypotheses and analyze data, structural equation modeling was used.

Findings

The findings show that CA and CSR associations were found to have positive and indirect influences on consumer brand loyalty through brand identifications. This indicates that the process of corporate association transforming into loyalty is much more complicated, and there are other factors influencing this process, making brand identification necessary for achieving customer brand loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The results presented in this study have important managerial implications for banking companies in India. The findings demonstrate the importance of CA and CSR associations in the present business scenario and highlight the need to successfully implement them in management policies.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing body of literature by highlighting the influence of brand identification on brand loyalty through affective commitment and satisfaction.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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