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Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 322–336 | Cite as

Does brand authenticity alleviate the effect of brand scandals?

Original Article

Abstract

This research investigates to what extent brand authenticity lessens the impact of a brand scandal on consumer responses to the brand involved in the scandal. A 2 × 2 experiment shows that consumers responded more favourably to a more (vs. less) authentic brand in the event of a scandal. The protective effects of higher levels of brand authenticity emerged for emotional and behavioural brand outcomes (i.e. greater affection and willingness to pay) and brand-related inferences (i.e. lower perceived responsibility for the scandal and hypocrisy). Nonetheless, even a more authentic brand was harmed by a brand scandal (vs. no scandal). This suggests that higher levels of brand authenticity do not fully offset the negative consequences of brand scandals. A follow-up experiment ruled out that brand age drives these protective effects in case of a scandal. These findings give rise to theoretical and managerial implications.

Keywords

Brand authenticity Scandals Brand attachment Hypocrisy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingÉcole des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM)MontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Marketing, John Molson School of BusinessConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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