Involvement with a Broader Community of Stakeholders

The brand familiarity effect occurs when consumers’ knowledge and previous experience with a brand influence their evaluation of the quality of the branded product (Laufer et al. 2009; Stokes 1985; Teas and Agrawal 2000). Previous research recognizes that brand familiarity might act as a safeguard against the negative impact that bad publicity might exert on a brand. For instance, Dawar and Lei (2009) argue that when a crisis involves familiar brands, a considerable reduction of the effects of the crisis on the brand might occur due to the fact that consumers use memory-based, pro-attitudinal information to unconsciously defend their prior attitudes toward that brand. Conversely, on encountering negative information about an unfamiliar brand, consumers tend to respond less positively, primarily, because they have no pro-attitudinal information about that brand stored in memory and therefore evaluate the brand solely on the basis of the current crisis information.

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