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When Good Brands Do Bad: Brand Personalities, Acts of Transgression, and the Evolution of Relationship Strength

Posted: 1 Nov 2002  

Susan Fournier

Boston University

Adam Brasel

Independent

Jennifer Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Abstract

This paper reports results from a two-month longitudinal field experiment examining influences on relationships that formed between consumers and an on-line photography brand. Brand personality systematically impacted relationship strength patterns, whereby brands with sincere versus exciting traits encouraged progressively stronger relationship bonds. However, this result held only when the relationship proceeded without commission of a transgression. When a transgression occurred, relationship strength suffered dramatically for sincere brands, but surprisingly, showed signs of reinvigoration for exciting brands. Dispositional attributions regarding partner quality mediated the results, suggesting a broader role for the relationship contracts formed at the hands of different brand personalities.

Suggested Citation

Fournier, Susan and Brasel, Adam and Aaker, Jennifer, When Good Brands Do Bad: Brand Personalities, Acts of Transgression, and the Evolution of Relationship Strength. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=339381

Susan Fournier

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617 353 2773 (Phone)

S. Adam Brasel

Independent

No Address Available

Jennifer Lynn Aaker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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