Track 6: Attitudes & Persuasion
Uzma Khan (University of Miami)

6C. Brands

Saturday, March 5
2:00pm – 3:30pm EST
Discussant: Amna Kirmani (University of Maryland)
MC: Maria Rodas (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
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Student Coordinator: Rin Yoon (Cornell University) (

Competitive Papers

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom behind Unconventional Brand Names
Authors: John Costello (University of Notre Dame), Jesse Walker (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University), Rebecca Reczek (The Ohio State University)
Presenting Author: John Costello (University of Notre Dame)
Although marketers may believe unconventional spellings of brand names attract consumers, our research indicates that this strategy can backfire. Across seven studies, we demonstrate that consumers perceive the choice of an unconventional spelling for a brand name as an attempt to influence their perceptions of the brand as more exciting. As a result, consumers perceive brands with unconventionally spelled names as less sincere, resulting in less support (e.g., purchase intentions, WTP, etc.). We also identify three contexts in which unconventionally spelled brand names do not produce a backfire effect because the motive for selecting the name is viewed as sincere.
Mixed Couples, Mixed Attitudes: How Interracial Relationship Representation Influences Brand Outcomes
Authors: Nicole Davis (University of Georgia), Rosanna Smith (University of Georgia), Julio Sevilla (University of Georgia)
Presenting Author: Nicole Davis (University of Georgia)
Brands increasingly feature interracial couples in their marketing appeals. Although the representation of multiple races may appeal to a wider audience, interracial couples can be stigmatized. We find that interracial couples in marketing contexts tend to enhance brand outcomes relative to monoracial dominant (i.e., White) couples; however, they tend to decrease brand outcomes compared to monoracial nondominant (i.e., minority) couples. These effects are primarily driven by how the couple composition of dominant (vs. nondominant) racial group members amplifies or dilutes perceived warmth.
Emoji Marketing: How Textual Paralanguage can increase Consumer-Brand Connections and Purchase Likelihood
Authors: Tessa Garcia-Collart (University of Missouri-St Louis), Jayati Sinha (Fl)
Presenting Author: Tessa Garcia-Collart (University of Missouri-St Louis)
In this research we expand current knowledge of the use and implications of textual paralanguage by providing further understanding of the influence of emojis on consumption behavior..Brands communicate and engage directly with their consumers using online communications that often contain emojis. While emerging studies have begun to examine the influence of emojis within marketing context, yet to understand is the influence of emojis on the consumer-brand relationship. Across seven studies, we show that emojis improve brand communications with important downstream consequences that help strengthen the consumer- brand dyad. Specifically, we find that brands that use emojis in online communications increase consumers’ perceptions of anthropomorphism and self-brand connections, leading to positive consumption consequences (e.g., purchase, word of mouth, shares). Findings from this research help clarify the influence of textual paralanguage in marketing and consumption settings.
When Are Brands Tainted by Affiliation? Culture Shapes Blame Spillover in Multinational Corporations
Authors: Rebecca Chae (Santa Clara University), Yong H. Kim (Texas A&M University), Julia Lee Cunningham (University of Michigan)
Presenting Author: Rebecca Chae (Santa Clara University)
When people encounter negative publicity about a brand’s moral transgression, how do they perceive other brands that belong to the transgressor’s parent company? We examine how cognitive styles affect negative spillover from transgressing to affiliated yet nontransgressing brands. Findings show that holistic (vs. analytic) thinkers are more retaliatory toward a brand that shares an organizational affiliation with a transgressing brand, even when it has a different brand name and sells different products. Differences in spillover effects are driven by holistic thinkers’ greater perceived similarity between subsidiary brands, and these effects are attenuated when organization differences between brands are made salient.

Flash Talks

The Self-Expanding Effect of Psychologically Enriching Brands
Authors: Maria Rodas (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Carlos J. Torelli (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Minkyung Koo (University of New Mexico)
Presenting Author: Maria Rodas (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Traditionally, research on what constitutes a good life has focused on happiness or meaningfulness. However, recent research proposes that psychological richness is another dimension of a good life with unique predictors and consequences. Our research investigates whether brands can evoke psychological richness, and if so, to what effect. We propose and find in four studies that consumers perceive brands that are perspective changing as psychologically enriching, and that they evaluate these brands more favorably than non-enriching brands. We propose that this is driven by feelings of self-expansion.
Self-Effacing or Self-Enhancing Brands? Consumer Reactions to Impression Management Strategies
Authors: Tessa Garcia-Collart (University of Missouri-St Louis), Jessica Rixom (University of Nevada-Reno)
Presenting Author: Jessica Rixom (University of Nevada-Reno)
People use self-effacement or self-enhancement to present themselves positively to others. Self-effacement involves presenting oneself with modesty by de-emphasizing virtues and accomplishments. Conversely, self-enhancement involves presenting oneself in an overly positive manner by over-emphasizing virtues and accomplishments. This knowledge is extended to a branding context by evaluating the effect of these impression management strategies on consumption decisions when used in brand-related communications. Across five studies the authors demonstrate the mediating role of warmth and competence on consumers’ brand trust and decision making, and demonstrate that self-effacing as opposed to self-enhancing brand messages lead to increased purchasing behaviors, even in the presence of actual monetary tradeoffs. Finally, the authors identify situations in which self-enhancing communications benefit brands by exploring the moderating role of brand familiarity. Findings indicate that compared to self-enhancing messages, self-effacing messages lead to higher warmth which then leads to positive consumption consequences particularly for unfamiliar brands.


Together They Do Not Innovate: Group Entitativity of Top Management Team and Consumer Perception of Brand Innovativeness
Authors: Fei (Katie) Xu (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Yuwei Jiang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Presenting Author: Fei (Katie) Xu (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
This research explores how background information of a brand’s top management team influences consumers’ perception of brand innovativeness and their downstream purchase intention and behavior. Six studies demonstrate that low (vs. high) group entitativity of a brand’s top management team increases the perception of perspective diversity among its members, which in turns leads to heightened consumer perception of brand innovativeness. Consistent with this mechanism, this effect is further found to be dismissed when the lay belief that divergent thinking enhances innovation is challenged. Moreover, low (vs. high) group entitativity of top management team increases consumers’ purchase intention and behavior when they have a purchasing goal for innovative products or when the brand’s products are positioned as innovative products.
Brand Protection v. Abandonment: Power Distance, In-Group/Out-Group Membership, and Consumer Reactions to Brand/Product Encroachment
Authors: Noelle Butski (University of Arkansas Little Rock)
Presenting Author: Noelle Butski (University of Arkansas Little Rock)
This study aimed to explore whether perceived threats to group membership affect behavioral intentions as a function of perceived power distance when the product is a signal of counter-culture group membership using the context of recreational marijuana. The results suggest that power distance does, in fact, moderate the relationship between in-group/out-group membership and behavioral intentions via the perceived level of threat: when power distance is high and one is made to feel like an out-group member perceived level of threat increases and leads to greater consumption and promotion of a product.
Heartbreakers Must Die! Consumer Responses toward Brand Alliance Termination
Authors: Fangyuan Chen (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Ce Liang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Dongjin He (Lingnan University), Yuwei Jiang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Presenting Author: Ce Liang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
How do consumers react when brands in an alliance terminate their relationship? This research finds that when brand alliances are ended unilaterally, consumers will perceive the termination as more unfair compared to when ended mutually. This unfairness perception, in turn, results in negative consumer responses to the “dumper” (i.e., the brand initiating the unilateral termination), from a general brand avoidance tendency to specific avoidance behaviors. These negative responses, however, are absent for the “dumpee” (i.e., the brand forced to accept the unilateral termination) and brands in mutual terminations. Moreover, consumers’ negative responses are attenuated when unilateral terminations are deemed justifiable.
“Secondbrand” Exchange: Traditional Retail Brands Selling Used Items
Authors: Peter Silverstein, Catherine Armstrong Soule (Western Washington University), Sara Hanson (University of Richmond)
Presenting Author: Catherine Armstrong Soule (Western Washington University)
As the secondhand market continues to grow explosively in scope and scale, some traditional retail brands have begun to participate directly by controlling the resale of their own used products such as Patagonia’s Worn Wear program, termed secondbrand exchange. This conceptual paper introduces and explores this new marketplace phenomenon in terms of marketing mix elements and the resulting consumer behavior outcomes. In particular, changes in consumer perceptions of branded items (both new and used) and brand meaning/identity related to authenticity, trust, and contamination are related to brand-level decisions about appeal types and product transformation levels.
How Depletion and Slogans Interact to Impact Behavior
Authors: Darlene Walsh (Concordia University), Chunxiang Haung (Concordia University), Hamid Shaker (Concordia University)
Presenting Author: Hamid Shaker (Concordia University)
Prior research has shown that slogans can have a reverse priming effect on consumers, such that consumers behave inconsistent with the slogan’s image. However, we do not know whether this effect will persist if consumers have already engaged in a task that required self-control (in other words, when consumers are depleted). The current research therefore examines the effect of slogans on consumer choice outcomes when consumers are depleted (or not). Using different brands related to savings and various methods of depletion, our research reveals that depletion can attenuate the reverse priming effect.
Non-additive Cognitive Effects of Ego-Depletion and Brand Effects in Online-Retailing – A Behavioral Study Using Neural Insights
Authors: Nadine R. Gier (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Ben Koch (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Regina Mukhamedzyanova (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Peter Kenning (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
Presenting Author: Regina Mukhamedzyanova (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
If two effects are known to affect the same neural structure, this neural insight might be used to hypothesize how two so far independent effects interact on a behavioral level. This working paper indicates how ego-depletion might affect brand effects on a behavioral level, utilizing prior insights on the dlPFC as an explicatory underlying structure to build the hypotheses. Brand effects and ego-depletion are known to shorten decision time and are associated with reduced neural activity in the dlPFC. The results indicate as suggested by neural theory that these effects are non-additive, signifying the fundamental importance of consumer neuroscience for behavioral research. "
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