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Corporate Associations in Marketing: Antecedents and Consequences

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‘Corporate associations’ — what an individual knows or feels about a particular organization — have long been thought to influence consumers' and other audiences' responses to a company and its products. Although researchers have studied corporate image and related concepts for decades, there have been few attempts to summarize the antecedents and consequences of corporate associations. This article overviews extant theory and research in marketing and consumer research and identities four key antecedents of corporate associations: characteristics of the company's products and services, corporate communications, third party communications, and a general business stereotype. In addition, the article identifies two primary categories of consequences: product responses (ie, product attribute perceptions, product evaluations, purchase intentions, purchase behaviors) and responses to the company (ie, trust and commitment). Important directions for future research are outlined, including research on the specific mechanisms through which corporate associations affect product outcomes and possible moderating conditions when the influence of corporate associations are stronger or weaker.

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Brown, T. Corporate Associations in Marketing: Antecedents and Consequences. Corp Reputation Rev 1, 215–233 (1998).

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