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Building brand equity with environmental communication: an empirical investigation in France

Building brand equity with environmental communication: an empirical investigation in France Purpose – Using Keller's brand equity framework, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the firm's environmental communication on brand equity, and specifically its impact on brand image, through the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations. Design/methodology/approach – A between‐subjects experimental design tests the hypotheses with a generalisable sample of 165 French consumers. Findings – Environmental communication positively influences the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations, therefore improving brand equity. Two moderators reinforce the impact of environmental communication on brand equity through the strength of brand environmental associations: the perceived congruence between the brand and the cause, and the perceived credibility of the claim. Practical implications – In the context of greater consumer pressure regarding business ethics, managers should favour environmental arguments in their corporate communication to improve brand image through societal associations. Doing so, they should focus their communication on causes that are congruent with their brands to facilitate brand equity building, and ensure they are credible when proclaiming these arguments. Originality/value – Despite existing research on corporate social responsibility (CSR), no studies focus on the specific impact of CSR communication on brand equity. The paper provides initial empirical evidence about the positive effect of environmental claims on customer‐based brand equity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png EuroMed Journal of Business Emerald Publishing

Building brand equity with environmental communication: an empirical investigation in France

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1450-2194
DOI
10.1108/14502191111130334
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Using Keller's brand equity framework, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the firm's environmental communication on brand equity, and specifically its impact on brand image, through the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations. Design/methodology/approach – A between‐subjects experimental design tests the hypotheses with a generalisable sample of 165 French consumers. Findings – Environmental communication positively influences the strength and favourability of brand environmental associations, therefore improving brand equity. Two moderators reinforce the impact of environmental communication on brand equity through the strength of brand environmental associations: the perceived congruence between the brand and the cause, and the perceived credibility of the claim. Practical implications – In the context of greater consumer pressure regarding business ethics, managers should favour environmental arguments in their corporate communication to improve brand image through societal associations. Doing so, they should focus their communication on causes that are congruent with their brands to facilitate brand equity building, and ensure they are credible when proclaiming these arguments. Originality/value – Despite existing research on corporate social responsibility (CSR), no studies focus on the specific impact of CSR communication on brand equity. The paper provides initial empirical evidence about the positive effect of environmental claims on customer‐based brand equity.

Journal

EuroMed Journal of BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2011

Keywords: France; Corporate communications; Corporate social responsibility; Brand equity; Consumer behaviour

References