Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?May 16, 2012
Although it is tempting to use the word "we" to make consumers feel like part of the family, people react negatively when brands overstep their boundaries, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
"Marketers often desire to promote consumers' feelings of being in a close relationship with the brands they market, and they frequently craft their communications using language that portrays brands as close partners with consumers," write authors Aner Sela (University of Florida), S. Christian Wheeler (Stanford University), and Gülen Sarial-Abi (Koç University).
"Our research shows that seemingly inconsequential changes, as subtle as using 'we' versus 'you and the brand,' can have both positive and negative effects on people's evaluations of real-world brands with which they have working relationships," the authors write.
Because "we" seems to represent more closeness and shared identity, it would seems that using "we" would increase people's feelings of closeness and loyalty to the brand. But the authors found that that depended on how close consumers felt to the brand in the first place.
In one study, participants read an excerpt supposedly taken from an ad for Wells Fargo, a prominent banking brand, or Aetna, a prominent health insurance company. The authors first discovered that people tend to feel closer to their bank than to their insurance company. The excerpts were identical except for the use of the pronoun "we" versus "you and [the brand]."
Real Wells Fargo customers had more positive attitudes toward the banking company after reading the "we" version; but actual Aetna customers had more positive attitudes toward the brand when they read "you and Aetna." Interestingly, people who were not customers of either brand had more positive feelings about both companies when the ads used "you and [the brand]." "People who are not brand customers expect brands with which they are not affiliated to communicate with them using less intimate language--just as people generally expect strangers to interact with them using less intimate language," the authors conclude.
University of Chicago Press Journals
Related Consumers Articles:
Younger, more cosmopolitan Chinese consumers tend to favor brand translations that keep both the sound and the meaning of the original name, says U. of I. business professor and branding expert Carlos J.
From recycling to reusing hotel towels, consumers who participate in a company's 'green' program are more satisfied with its service, finds a new study co-led by a Michigan State University researcher.
How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy?
You won't make big cuts in your environmental impact by taking shorter showers or turning out the lights.
Experiments investigated the effect of plant attributes on consumers' likelihood of purchasing indoor foliage plants.
The epidemiologic study, led by Carol O'Neil of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, used a nationally representative analytic sample to examine the association of fresh pear consumption with nutrient intake, nutrient adequacy, diet quality, and cardiovascular risk factors in adults.
Sunscreen labels may still be confusing to consumers, with only 43 percent of those surveyed understanding the definition of the sun protection factor value, according to the results of a small study published in a research letter online by JAMA Dermatology.
Why is it so hard for consumers to save money?
Why do some consumers make choices based on their feelings instead of rational assessments?
One of the most important shifts of the 21st century is the ability of consumers to participate in markets they love such as music and fashion.
Related Consumers Reading:
Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2018
by Consumer Reports Editorial Staff (Author)
Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2018 for Cars, TV's, Ranges, Refrigerators, Laptops, Vacuums, Smartphones, Gas Grills and More. View Details
Used Car Buying Guide
by Consumer Reports (Author)
LATEST EDITION, OCTOBER TO DECEMBER (WINTER), 2017. Take the guesswork out of buying a used car, truck, or SUV! GET EXPERT ADVICE from the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine. Answers all your questions, including: Best & Worst, Trade-in Tips, Certified Pre-owned Worth the Cost?, Best Vehicles for Teens. View Details
A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
by Lizabeth Cohen (Author)
In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II fueled our pervasive consumer mentality and transformed American life.
Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, social equality, and the American Dream. Material goods came to embody the promise of America, and the power of consumers to purchase everything from vacuum cleaners to convertibles gave rise to the power of citizens to... View Details
Following Christ in a Consumer Society: The Spirituality of Cultural Resistance
by John F. Kavanaugh (Author)
In an era of fraud, corruption, and the relentless celebration of image over substance, the message of this perennial best-seller is more timely than ever. Following Christ in a Consumer Society offers a penetrating critique of the culture of consumerism, contrasted with the personalism of the Gospel. Addressing a soul-destroying culture in which having more has become the only measure of value, Kavanaugh reminds us of the values that truly make us human. Through the counter-cultural message of the Gospel, his book presents a diagnosis of our social ills while at the same time providing a... View Details
Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy
by Kit Yarrow (Author)
Take a glimpse into the mind of the modern consumer
A decade of swift and stunning change has profoundly affected the psychology of how, when, and why we shop and buy. In Decoding the New Consumer Mind, award-winning consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow shares surprising insights about the new motivations and behaviors of shoppers, taking marketers where they need to be today: into the deeply psychological and often unconscious relationships that people have with products, retailers, marketing communications, and brands.
Teach your students to become well-informed consumers
Consumer Mathematics presents basic math skills used in everyday situations--paying taxes, buying food, banking and investing, and managing a household. The full-color text helps students and young adults become wiser, more informed consumers.Lexile Level 850 Reading Level 3-4 Interest Level 6-12 View Details
A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, 7th Edition: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients Found in Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals
by Ruth Winter (Author)
Everything you need to know about the safety and efficacy of cosmetics and cosmeceuticals.
Is it a cosmetic? A drug? A nutrient? It’s becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference with the cosmetic companies combining the three. And unlike with food additives, the FDA has little control over what goes into the products that claim to make you look more beautiful–even though cosmeceuticals (cosmetics that purport to have druglike benefits) have skyrocketed into a multibillion-dollar industry.
So before you slather on that “wrinkle-reducing” cream or swallow a... View Details
Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being (11th Edition)
by Michael R. Solomon (Author)
&>For undergraduate and MBA courses in consumer behavior.
Solomon goes beyond the discussion of why people buy things and explores how products, services, and consumption activities contribute to shape people’s social experiences.
This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. Here’s how:
A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, 7th Edition: Descriptions in Plain English of More Than 12,000 Ingredients Both Harmful and Desirable Found in Foods
by Ruth Winter (Author)
An Essential Household Reference…Revised and Updated
With our culture’s growing interest in organic foods and healthy eating, it is important to understand what food labels mean and to learn how to read between the lines. This completely revised and updated edition of A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives gives you the facts about the safety and side effects of more than 12,000 ingredients–such as preservatives, food-tainting pesticides, and animal drugs–that end up in food as a result of processing and curing. It tells you what’s safe
and what you should... View Details
by Wayne D. Hoyer (Author), Deborah J. MacInnis (Author), Rik Pieters (Author)
CONSUMER BEHAVIOR combines a foundation in key concepts from marketing, psychology, sociology, and anthropology with a highly practical focus on real-world applications for today's business environment. The new edition of this popular, pioneering text incorporates the latest cutting-edge research and current business practices, including extensive coverage of social media influences, increased consumer power, emerging neuroscience findings, and emotion in consumer decision making. In addition, the Sixth Edition includes an increased emphasis on social responsibility and ethics in marketing.... View Details