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Competitive information, trust, brand consideration and sales: Two field experiments


  • Liberali, Guilherme
  • Urban, Glen L.
  • Hauser, John R.


Two field experiments examine whether providing information to consumers regarding competitive products builds trust. Established theory suggests that (1) competitive information leads to trust because it demonstrates the firm is altruistic, and (2) trust leads to brand consideration and sales. In year 1, an American automaker provided experiential, product-feature, word-of-mouth, and advisor information to consumers in a 2×2×2×2 random-assignment field experiment that lasted six months. Main-effect analyses, conditional-logit models, and continuous-time Markov models suggest that competitive information enhances brand consideration and possibly sales and that the effects are mediated through trust. However, in a modification to extant theory, effects are significant only for positively valenced information. The year-2 experiment tested whether a signal that the firm was willing to share competitive information would engender trust, brand consideration, and sales. Contrary to many theories, the signal did not achieve these predicted outcomes because, in the year-2 experiment, consumers who already trusted the automaker were more likely to opt in to competitive information. In addition to interpreting the field experiments in light of extant theory, we examine cost effectiveness and describe the automaker's successful implementation of revised competitive-information strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Liberali, Guilherme & Urban, Glen L. & Hauser, John R., 2013. "Competitive information, trust, brand consideration and sales: Two field experiments," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 101-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ijrema:v:30:y:2013:i:2:p:101-113
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2012.07.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neeraj Arora & Xavier Dreze & Anindya Ghose & James Hess & Raghuram Iyengar & Bing Jing & Yogesh Joshi & V. Kumar & Nicholas Lurie & Scott Neslin & S. Sajeesh & Meng Su & Niladri Syam & Jacquelyn Thom, 2008. "Putting one-to-one marketing to work: Personalization, customization, and choice," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321, December.
    2. Constance Elise Porter & Naveen Donthu, 2008. "Cultivating Trust and Harvesting Value in Virtual Communities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 113-128, January.
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    5. repec:eee:joinma:v:23:y:2009:i:2:p:179-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Erin Anderson & Barton Weitz, 1989. "Determinants of Continuity in Conventional Industrial Channel Dyads," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 310-323.
    8. Glen L. Urban & John R. Hauser & John H. Roberts, 1990. "Prelaunch Forecasting of New Automobiles," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(4), pages 401-421, April.
    9. John R. Hauser, 1978. "Testing the Accuracy, Usefulness, and Significance of Probabilistic Choice Models: An Information-Theoretic Approach," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 406-421, June.
    10. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hauser, John R., 2014. "Consideration-set heuristics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1688-1699.


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