Anthropomorphizing brands: The role of attributed brand traits in interactive CSR communication and consumer online endorsements

Anne-Marie Van Prooijen*, Jos Bartels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Consumers tend to relate to brands in similar ways as they relate to individuals and groups. However, relatively little is known about the attribution of human traits to brands in online contexts. The current research focused on the role of attributed brand traits in interactive corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and positive electronic word-of-mouth intentions. Results of an online survey (N = 174) revealed that higher levels of perceived interactivity were associated with stronger attributions of morality, sociability, and competence traits to brands. Yet only attributed brand morality was associated with consumers' willingness to endorse the brand and its CSR message on social networking sites. These findings underline the importance of brands' openness to dialogue regarding the promotion of CSR activities. Furthermore, these findings suggest that consumers are most likely to feel that brands can represent their identity when brand morality is considered to be high.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • WORD-OF-MOUTH
  • CORPORATE SOCIAL-RESPONSIBILITY
  • SELF-DISCLOSURE
  • MEDIA
  • COMPETENCE
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • DIMENSIONS
  • MORALITY
  • IMPRESSIONS
  • SOCIABILITY

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