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How promoting a family firm image affects customer perception in the age of social media

Johanna Zanon, Scholl-Grissemann, Ursula, Andreas Kallmuenzer, Nikolas Kleinhansl and Mike Peters

Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2019, vol. 10, issue 1, 28-37

Abstract: The marketing-related behavior of family firms has recently gained scientific attention, as family firms increasingly use visual and textual cues such as the name, pictures of the owning family, or the owning family’s values to communicate their family firm image via multiple marketing channels. Despite the relevance of online marketing in a digitalized and increasingly transparent world, a deeper investigation of how the promotion of a family firm image online influences consumers’ social media engagement is absent in the current literature. This study employs a Social Identity Theory perspective and uses an online experiment to assess if family firm image promotion leads to increased social media engagement by customers. The results show that family firm image promotion specifically increases perceived brand authenticity. This in turn is associated with a higher level of customer-company-identification, which eventually translates into increased intention to engage in social media. The direct effect of family firm image promotion on perceived brand authenticity underpins the notion that family firms can leverage a strategic competitive advantage if they communicate their familial nature to external audiences through online channels.

Keywords: Family firm; Consumer behavior; Marketing; Communication; Social media engagement; Social identity theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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