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Putting Words into Action: Marketing Organic Products with Existing Brand Associations


  • Maren Vos
  • Jos Bartels


As consumer interest in organic products continues to grow, brands are increasingly adding organic variants to their product lines. However, consumer evaluations of these actions are not straightforward and differ for brands with various associations or within different product contexts. Previous research has shown that products with credence attributes, such as organic products, are often judged by brand name and consumers¡¯ existing brand associations. The current study adds to previous work on brand equity and brand associations by explicitly considering the context and characteristics of these branded organic products. First, a pretest determined the existing brands¡¯ corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate ability (CA) associations. Next, an online experiment tested consumers¡¯ perceptions of brand equity, consumers¡¯ trust in the brands and consumers¡¯ purchase intentions, which were analyzed using a fully parallel, multiple-mediator process model with the experimental conditions as independent variables. The results show that brand equity increases most when a brand associated with both CA and CSR introduces an organic product. In addition, consumers trust this brand more compared to brands that are less strongly associated with CSR. Moreover, the intention to purchase organic products increases as brand equity increases, but the intention to purchase organic products does not increase as trust increases. Based on these results, we conclude that brands aiming to increase their value to positively affect consumers¡¯ purchase intentions of their organic products benefit most when they are highly associated with both CSR and CA.

Suggested Citation

  • Maren Vos & Jos Bartels, 2018. "Putting Words into Action: Marketing Organic Products with Existing Brand Associations," International Journal of Marketing Studies, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(2), pages 1-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibn:ijmsjn:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:1-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Magdalena Öberseder & Bodo Schlegelmilch & Verena Gruber, 2011. "“Why Don’t Consumers Care About CSR?”: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Role of CSR in Consumption Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(4), pages 449-460, December.
    2. Carlos J. Torelli & Alokparna Basu Monga & Andrew M. Kaikati, 2012. "Doing Poorly by Doing Good: Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Concepts," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(5), pages 948-963.
    3. Longinos Marin & Salvador Ruiz, 2007. "“I Need You Too!â€\x9D Corporate Identity Attractiveness for Consumers and The Role of Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 245-260, March.
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    More about this item


    brand associations; brand equity; consumer perceptions; organic; purchase intention;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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