Branding Alters Attitude Functions and Reduces the Advantage of Function-Matching Persuasive Appeals

Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming

47 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2007 Last revised: 8 May 2012

See all articles by Robyn A. LeBoeuf

Robyn A. LeBoeuf

Washington University in St. Louis

Joseph P. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: September 6, 2007

Abstract

Attitudes differ in the functions that they serve: Whereas attitudes towards some products may serve a utilitarian purpose of helping consumers maximize rewards, attitudes towards other products may symbolize or express consumers' values. This paper shows that branding alters the associations between products and attitude functions. Specifically, product categories that are generally associated with utilitarian attitudes are associated with less utilitarian, more symbolic attitudes when branded, whereas product categories that are generally associated with symbolic attitudes are associated with more utilitarian, less symbolic attitudes when branded. Branding also has important implications for persuasion and for the "function-matching" advantage: Whereas utilitarian appeals are best for "utilitarian" products (and symbolic appeals are best for "symbolic" products) at the category level, this paper shows that this advantage does not hold at the brand level, in part because attitude functions change with branding.

Keywords: attitude functions, attitudes, branding, persuasion, advertising

Suggested Citation

LeBoeuf, Robyn A. and Simmons, Joseph P., Branding Alters Attitude Functions and Reduces the Advantage of Function-Matching Persuasive Appeals (September 6, 2007). Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1012728

Robyn A. LeBoeuf (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Joseph P. Simmons

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6374
United States

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