Worthy Intentions on the Road to Brand Trust
AbstractNowadays, technology enables businesses to make transactions without human interaction, which increases their operations, but also erodes the personal nature of commerce and brand loyalty, in most of the cases. Independent lines of research have warned about this phenomenon, pointing out that the lack of consumer trust represents the main cause of losing brand loyalty. Stressing on the benefits of updating branding practices by integrating results from other social sciences, our paper explores an interdisciplinary literature. The paper presents recent branding-related findings and how are they supported or not by results from social psychology and behavioral economics. It highlights two opposite views and theoretical contradictions, and extracts a hypothesis that would be conceptually supported by some convergent opinions and facts. Arguing why an effective branding process, meant to achieve both consumer trust and sales objectives, should change the focus from profit-maximization onto relationship building, we hypothesize that brands should reveal worthy intentions prior to competence. Since our paper is of conceptual nature, further empirical studies are needed to test the hypothesis. Yet, the present paper offers an integrative view of the consumer underlying behavior, as revealed by recent results from different social sciences, discussing the potential impact of worthy intentions and competences on trust building, and consequently, on the brand construction process.
Arrow, K.J. (1972). Gifts and Exchanges. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1(4), 343-362.
Aaker, J., Vohs, K., and Mogilner, C. (2010). Non-Profits Are Seen as Warm and For-Profits as Competent: Firm Stereotypes Matter. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(2), 277-291.
Aaker, J., Vohs, K., and Garbinsky, E. (2012). Cultivating Admiration in Brands: Warmth, Competence and Landing in the “Golden Quadrant”. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(2), 191-194.
Abele, A.E., and Wojciszke, B. (2007). Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(5), 751–763.
Abele, A.E., Uchronski, M., Suitner, C., and Wojciszke, B. (2008). Towards an operationalization of the fundamental dimensions of agency and communion: Trait content ratings in five countries considering valence and frequency of word occurrence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(7), 1202-1217.
Anderson, C. (2008). Brands: Think people, not products. Retrieved from http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2005/07/brands_in_the_l.html.
Barney, J.B., and Hansen, M.H. (1994). Trustworthiness as a source of competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 15(Special Issue), 175-190.
Bennett, A.M., and Hill, R.P. (2012). The universality of warmth and competence: A response to brands as intentional agents. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(2), 199–204.
Bobalca, C. (2014). Determinants of Customer Loyalty. A Theoretical Approach. Journal of International Scientific Publications, Economy and Business, 8(1), 995-1005.
Coleman, J.S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Coleman J.S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94(Supplement), 95–120.
Cote, S., and Healy, T. (2001). The Well-being of Nations. The role of human and social capital. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Cuddy, A.J., Fiske, S.T., and Glick, P. (2007). The BIAS Map: Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(4), 631–648.
Cuddy, A.J., Fiske, S.T., and Glick, P. (2008). Warmth and Competence as Universal Dimensions of Social Perception: The Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS Map. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 40(1), 61-149.
Cuddy, A.J., Fiske, S.T., Glick, P., Kwan, V.S.Y., Demoulin, S., Leyens, J.Ph., and Bond, M.H. (2009). Stereotype content model across cultures: Universal similarities and some differences. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48(1), 1–33.
Dyer, J.H., and Chu, W. (2003). The Role of Trustworthiness in Reducing Transaction Costs and Improving Performance: Empirical Evidence from the United States, Japan, and Korea. Organization Science, 14(1), 57-68.
Dunning, D., Fetchenhauer, D., and Schlösser, T. (2012). Trust as a social and emotional act: Noneconomic considerations in trust behavior. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(3), 686-694.
Durante, F., Volpato, C., and Fiske, S.T. (2009). Using the stereotype content model to examine group depictions in fascism: An archival approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(1), 1–19.
Fiske, S.T., and Malone, C. (2013). The Human Brand: How to Relate with People, Products and Companies. New Jersey: Jossey Bass, John Wiley and Sons.
Fiske, S.T., Malone, C., and Kervyn, N. (2012). Brands as intentional agents: Our response to commentaries. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(2), 205-207.
Fiske, S.T., Cuddy A.J., and Glick, P. (2007). Universal Dimensions of Social Cognition: Warmth and Competence. Trends in Cognitive Science, 11(2), 77–83.
Fiske, S.T., Cuddy A.J., Glick, P., and Xu J. (2002). A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow from Status and Competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 878-902.
Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust - The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. New York: Free Press.
Grandey, A., Fisk, G., Mattila, A., Jansen, K., and Sideman, L. (2005). Is ‘Service with a Smile’ Enough? Authenticity of Positive Displays during Service Encounters. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 96(1), 38–55.
Halpern, D. (2001). Moral values, social trust and inequality - Can values explain crime?. British Journal Criminology, 41(2), 236-251.
Kervyn, N., Fiske S.T., and Malone, C. (2012). Brands as intentional agents framework: How perceived intentions and ability can map brand perception. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(2), 166 – 176.
Kotler, P., and Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Qualmann, E. (2009). Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. New Jersey: Wiley.
Kumra, R., and Mittal, R.K. (2004). Trust and its Determinants in Internet Banking: A Study of Private Sector Banks in India. Decision, 31(1), 73-96.
Malone, C., and Fiske, S.T. (2013). The human brand: How we relate to people, products, and companies. San Francisco: Wiley/Jossey Bass.
McCarthy, J.E. (1960). Basic Marketing. A Managerial Approach. Homewood: Richard D. Irwin.
Menkoff, T. (1993). Trade Routes, Trust and Trading Networks: Chinese Small Enterprises in Singapore. Breitenbach: Saarbrücken.
Mensching, J.O. (2011). Can we trust trust explanations?An experimental illustration of how outcome based accounts of trust struggle to explain a basic phenomenon of human life. Retrieved from http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/4289/.
Ries, A., and Trout, J. (1981). Positioning, The battle for your mind. New York: Warner Books - McGraw-Hill.
Putnam R. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Too, L, Souchon, A., and Thirkell, P. (2001). Relationship Marketing and Customer Loyalty in a Retail Setting: A Dyadic Exploration. Journal of Marketing Management, 17(3-4), 287-319.
Tugulea, O. (2014). Dimensions of credibility of websites - a literature review. Journal of International Scientific Publication, Economy and Business, 8(7), 985-994.
Universal McCann McCann (2012). Wave 6 - The Business of Social. Retrieved from http://wave.umww.com.
Universal McCann McCann (2014). Wave 7 - Cracking the Social Code. Retrieved from http://wave.umww.com.
Vătămănescu, E.M., Pînzaru, F., and Anghel L.C. (2014). A Managerial Perspective on Common Identity-Based and Common Bond-Based Groups in Non-Governmental Organizations. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 2(2), 265-282.
Wilkinson, R. (1996). Unhealthy Societies: the afflictions of inequality. London: Routledge.
Wojciszke, B., and Abele, A.E. (2008). The primacy of communion over agency and its reversals in evaluations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(7), 1139-1147.
Wojciszke, B., Abele, A.E., and Baryla, W. (2009). Two dimensions of interpersonal attitudes: Liking depends on communion, respect depends on agency. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(6), 973–990.
Woolcock, M. (2001). The place of social capital in Understanding Social and Economic Outcomes. ISUMA Canadian Journal of Policy Research, 2(1), 11-17.
Young, L., and Albaum, G. (2003). Measurement of Trust in Salesperson-Customer Relationship in Direct Selling. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 23(3), 253-269.
How to Cite
Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, the users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit the contribution) with the condition to attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor. They may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.