The influence of passion/determination and external disadvantage on consumer responses to brand biographies

Abstract

To elicit positive consumer responses, many brands use underdog brand biographies in their brand communication strategies. Underdog brand biographies highlight a brand’s passion and determination in overcoming the external disadvantages the brand initially faced. This article examines to what extent consumers’ perceptions of passion/determination and external disadvantage reflected in an underdog brand biography independently influence narrative transportation, post-message engagement, and purchase intentions. Based on a study involving experimental manipulations of underdog and top dog brand biographies, this research contributes to the brand biography literature by demonstrating that passion/determination and external disadvantage have differential effects on narrative transportation, post-message engagement, and purchase intentions. It is also the first to empirically test the sequential mediating roles of narrative transportation and post-message engagement. For managerial practice, this research suggests that underdog brand biographies should emphasize the brand’s passion and determination and highlights the importance of post-message engagement in terms of information seeking, post-message elaboration, and social sharing in increasing purchase intentions.

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Correspondence to Bianca Grohmann.

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Appendix 1: Brand biographies

Appendix 1: Brand biographies

Low passion/determination and external disadvantage

Juicy Juice is a premium fresh bottled juice maker that has done well in the juice market for years. This large company has more resources than the industry average due to pioneering technologies and strong partnerships with established groves, distributors, and retailers. The brand’s founders have significant experience in the beverage industry and are known to maintain high quality in the production process.

Juicy Juice is part of an international food corporation that was able to build the brand with a large marketing and distribution budget without compromising premium quality. Known for its dominant market position and financial performance, Juicy Juice is regarded to be a high-quality premium fresh juice available at most beverage and grocery stores.

High passion/determination and external disadvantage

Juicy Juice is a local fresh bottled juice maker that has entered the market only last year. This small company has less resources than the industry average due to limited manufacturing capacity and developing partnerships with groves, distributors, and retailers. Although the brand’s founders do not have much experience in the beverage industry, they strongly believe that their dedication and passion for a healthy lifestyle and fresh juice will help them overcome the odds of competing in a fierce industry to bring their high-quality juices to market.

Juicy Juice is a brand that faces a huge challenge of dealing with a limited marketing and distribution budget without comprising premium quality. Though still relatively less known compared to powerful competitors, Juicy Juice is regarded to be a high-quality premium fresh juice available at some beverage and grocery stores.

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Nguyen, T., Grohmann, B. The influence of passion/determination and external disadvantage on consumer responses to brand biographies. J Brand Manag 27, 452–465 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41262-020-00193-8

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Keywords

  • Brand biographies
  • Underdog brand biographies
  • Narrative transportation
  • Post-message engagement