Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?

Date:
May 16, 2012
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Although it is tempting to use the word "we" to make consumers feel like part of the family, people react negatively when brands overstep their boundaries, according to a new study.

Although it is tempting to use the word "we" to make consumers feel like part of the family, people react negatively when brands overstep their boundaries, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Related Articles


"Marketers often desire to promote consumers' feelings of being in a close relationship with the brands they market, and they frequently craft their communications using language that portrays brands as close partners with consumers," write authors Aner Sela (University of Florida), S. Christian Wheeler (Stanford University), and Gόlen Sarial-Abi (Koη University).

"Our research shows that seemingly inconsequential changes, as subtle as using 'we' versus 'you and the brand,' can have both positive and negative effects on people's evaluations of real-world brands with which they have working relationships," the authors write.

Because "we" seems to represent more closeness and shared identity, it would seems that using "we" would increase people's feelings of closeness and loyalty to the brand. But the authors found that that depended on how close consumers felt to the brand in the first place.

In one study, participants read an excerpt supposedly taken from an ad for Wells Fargo, a prominent banking brand, or Aetna, a prominent health insurance company. The authors first discovered that people tend to feel closer to their bank than to their insurance company. The excerpts were identical except for the use of the pronoun "we" versus "you and [the brand]."

Real Wells Fargo customers had more positive attitudes toward the banking company after reading the "we" version; but actual Aetna customers had more positive attitudes toward the brand when they read "you and Aetna." Interestingly, people who were not customers of either brand had more positive feelings about both companies when the ads used "you and [the brand]." "People who are not brand customers expect brands with which they are not affiliated to communicate with them using less intimate language -- just as people generally expect strangers to interact with them using less intimate language," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aner Sela, S. Christian Wheeler, and Gόlen Sarial-Abi. We' Are Not the Same as 'You and I': Causal Effects of Minor Language Variations on Consumers' Attitudes toward Brands. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2012

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152534.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2012, May 16). Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152534.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why do consumers dislike corporate brands that get too familiar?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120516152534.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins