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Enough is enough! When identification no longer prevents negative corporate associations

  • Sabine A. Einwiller
  • Alexander Fedorikhin
  • Allison R. Johnson
  • Michael A. Kamins
Article

Abstract

Negative publicity has the potential to create negative corporate associations. However, consumers’ identification with a company might moderate the extent of this effect. This article examines the impact of consumer-company identification on reactions to variable levels of negative publicity about a company. Exposing consumers who had strong identification with a company to moderately negative publicity was found to result in less negative corporate associations than for consumers who had relatively weak identification. In contrast, consumers’ levels of identification did not affect reactions to extremely negative information, resulting in equally negative corporate associations for those with strong versus weak consumer-company identification. Thus, strong identification mitigates the effects of moderately negative publicity but does not attenuate the effects of extremely negative publicity. Consumers’ perceptions of and thoughts regarding negative information about a company partially mediated the effect of identification on attitudes and behavioral intentions.

Keywords

consumer-company identification corporate associations negative publicity 

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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine A. Einwiller
    • 1
  • Alexander Fedorikhin
    • 2
  • Allison R. Johnson
    • 3
  • Michael A. Kamins
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences Northwestern SwitzerlandSwitzerland
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.University of Southern CaliforniaUSA

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