How companies can secure brand loyalty

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Washington, May 19 (ANI): When a firm picks a single celebrity to endorse their brand, it can backfire - just like Tiger Woods' recent indiscretions affected Accenture. Now, a new research has examined different ways to secure brand loyalty.

"A widely applied method for improving how people feel about a brand is to pair the brand with positive stimuli," say authors Steven Sweldens (INSEAD), Stijn van Osselaer (Erasmus University), and Chris Janiszewski (University of Florida).

"A brand can be advertised using attractive imagery, endorsements by a celebrity, or used in event sponsoring. Invariably, advertisers hope that the favourable feelings generated by the positive stimuli will attach to the brand."

This pairing process is called evaluative conditioning can occur in two different ways: direct transfer and indirect transfer.

"In indirect transfer, the positive feelings toward the brand are dependent on creating a link in memory between the brand and a positive stimulus. For example, MasterCard uses the popular NFL player Peyton Manning to advertise its product, creating a link between MasterCard and Peyton Manning," the authors say.

The direct transfer means that the positive feeling from the stimulus "rubs off" on the brand. For example, Nike sponsors 55 current NBA players, which associates the brand with a wide range of likeable athletes. "For these fans, the Nike brand becomes more liked as a consequence of the sponsorship of many athletes, not because of the sponsorship of any one athlete," the authors say.

In case of Tiger Woods, his recent indiscretions have had a tremendous impact on the company's image. "

Advertising and product use can be structured to facilitate direct versus indirect affect transfer, which yields more robust brand attitudes than indirect affect transfer," the authors conclude.

The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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