Although brand theorists suggest that what a person knows about a company (i.e., corporate associations) can influence perceptions of the company's products, little systematic research on these effects exists. The authors examine the effects of two general types of corporate associations on product responses: One focuses on the com- pany's capabilities for producing products, that is, corporate ability (CA) associations, and the other focuses on the company's perceived social responsibility, that is, corporate social responsibility (CSR) associations. The results of three studies, including one that measures respondents' CA and CSR associations for well-known companies and one that uses consumers recruited in a shopping mall, demonstrate that (1) what consumers know about a com- pany can influence their beliefs about and attitudes toward new products manufactured by that company, (2) CA and CSR associations may have different effects on consumer responses to products, and (3) products of compa- nies with negative associations are not always destined to receive negative responses. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for marketing managers and further research.
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