Does reaching resonance give brands a free card? : A study of the strength in the consumer-brand relationship when the brand has reached the stage of brand resonance.
Abstract: Increased consumer awareness together with the importance of sustainable consumption is currently a highly debated topic. Frequently, the media reports scandals from strong international brands, revealing information regarding deficiencies linked to the brands social sustainability efforts. As a consequence, some consumers are starting to put higher demands on social sustainability by spreading condemnations. This is to prevent injustices such as child labour and modern slavery. The condemnation can be in the form of negative word-of- mouth or by boycotting the brand. This is something that can affect the brand strongly by damaging the consumers perception of the brand, which can be fatal to the consumer-brand relationship. However, this is something that seems to affect some brands to a greater extent than other brands This study explores the strength of Keller’s brand resonance level as a possible explanation to the above mentioned anomality. It shows that brands resonance operates as a countermeasure against negative information in relation to the brands indiscretions regarding social sustainability. Brand resonance can contradict the consumers ethical values and self-imagery, leaving the consumers perception of the brand unscathed. The results showed that brand resonance can become so strong that it can make the consumer abandon their ethical values, even for consumers whom consider themselves as highly ethical. This study has been conducted by a hypothetically deductive methodology. To determine the significance of the result it has been verified with a Z-test that applied a 5% significance level.
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