Essays on How Consumers Respond to Positive Brand-to-brand Interactions

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2023

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Abstract

With the current digital age and the rise of social media, consumers are privy to a wide variety of content from brands and media figures (e.g., celebrities, content creators, athletes, influencers). I focus on investigating the effects of observing positive interactions between brands or human brands on consumer perceptions. In the first essay, across six studies, I showcase that praising one’s competitor—via “brand-to-brand praise”—often heightens preference for the praiser more so than other common forms of communication, such as self-promotion or benevolent information. This is because brand-to-brand praise increases perceptions of brand warmth, which leads to enhanced brand evaluations and choice. In my second essay, across seven studies, I demonstrate how consumers enjoy viewing positive interactions between media figures and that viewing these interactions increase interest in and attitudes towards the focal media figure. This effect is driven by the humanization of the media figure, such that these positive interactions allow the media figure to seem more human to the consumer. Together, these essays showcase how the public display of positive exchanges can help brands by enhancing consumer perceptions.

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Citation

Zhou, Lingrui (2023). Essays on How Consumers Respond to Positive Brand-to-brand Interactions. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27628.

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