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.

"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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama 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:
from the past week

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