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Does Having an Ethical Brand Matter? The Influence of Consumer Perceived Ethicality on Trust, Affect and Loyalty

Listed author(s):
  • Jatinder Singh


  • Oriol Iglesias


  • Joan Batista-Foguet


Registered author(s):

    The recent rise in ethical consumerism has seen increasing numbers of corporate brands project a socially responsible and ethical image. But does having a corporate brand that is perceived to be ethical have any influence on outcome variables of interest for its product brands? This study analyzes the relationship between perceived ethicality at a corporate level, and brand trust, brand affect and brand loyalty at a product level. A theoretical framework with hypothesized relationships is developed and tested in order to answer the research question. Data have been collected for 45 product categories in the fast moving consumer goods sector using a panel of 4,027 Spanish consumers. The proposed relationships are tested using structural equations modeling. The results suggest there is a positive relationship between perceived ethicality of a brand and both brand trust and brand affect. Brand affect also positively influences brand trust. Further, brand trust and brand affect both show a positive relation with brand loyalty. The managerial and academic implications of the results are discussed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 541-549

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:4:p:541-549
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1216-7
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    1. Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions: Reply to Shea and Cohn's commentaries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1364-1367, December.
    2. Fournier, Susan, 1998. " Consumers and Their Brands: Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 343-373, March.
    3. Payne, Adrian & Storbacka, Kaj & Frow, Pennie & Knox, Simon, 2009. "Co-creating brands: Diagnosing and designing the relationship experience," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 379-389, March.
    4. Cohn, Deborah Y., 2010. "Commentary essay on "exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions -- A consumer perspective of corporate ethics"," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1267-1268, December.
    5. Sylvia Maxfield, 2008. "Reconciling Corporate Citizenship and Competitive Strategy: Insights from Economic Theory," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 367-377, June.
    6. Huber, Frank & Vollhardt, Kai & Matthes, Isabel & Vogel, Johannes, 2010. "Brand misconduct: Consequences on consumer-brand relationships," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 1113-1120, November.
    7. Page, Graham & Fearn, Helen, 2005. "Corporate Reputation: What Do Consumers Really Care About?," Journal of Advertising Research, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 305-313, September.
    8. Katja Brunk, 2012. "Un/ethical Company and Brand Perceptions: Conceptualising and Operationalising Consumer Meanings," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(4), pages 551-565, December.
    9. Shea, Linda J., 2010. "Using consumer perceived ethicality as a guideline for corporate social responsibility strategy: A commentary essay," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 263-264, March.
    10. Kyoko Fukukawa & John Balmer & Edmund Gray, 2007. "Mapping the Interface Between Corporate Identity, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 1-5, November.
    11. Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions -- A consumer perspective of corporate ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 255-262, March.
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