Broken (promotional) promises: The impact of firm reputation and blame

  • Bailey A
  • Bonifield C
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This research draws on the literature on expectancy violations theory, as well as the research on attribution and company reputation, to develop hypotheses about the likely impact of nature of fulfillment, blame, and company reputation on consumers' attitudes and behavioral intentions toward firms involved in nonfulfillment of promotional offers. Two experimental studies were done to test our hypotheses. Results from the first study indicate that, in the case of firms with positive reputations, consumers' attitudes and behavioral intentions are significantly affected by whether or not a company fulfills. However, in the case of firms with negative reputations, whether they fulfill or not does not make any difference with respect to attitudes and behavioral intentions. Results from the second study provide evidence that when companies are blamable for breaches of promotional promises, those companies that have positive reputations fare better than those with neutral or negative reputations. The implications for brand managers and marketing communication managers are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attribution
  • Promotional fulfillment
  • Reputation
  • Sales promotions

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  • Ainsworth Anthony Bailey

  • Carolyn M. Bonifield

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