When Good Brands Do Bad: Brand Personalities, Acts of Transgression, and the Evolution of Relationship Strength
Stanford University - Graduate School of Business
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.
Date posted: November 1, 2002