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Turning brand credibility into positive word-of-mouth: integrating the signaling and social identity perspectives

Jake An (), Diem Khac Xuan Do (), Liem Viet Ngo () and Tran Ha Minh Quan ()
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Jake An: UNSW Sydney
Diem Khac Xuan Do: Open University
Liem Viet Ngo: UNSW Sydney
Tran Ha Minh Quan: University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City

Journal of Brand Management, 2019, vol. 26, issue 2, 157-175

Abstract: Abstract Drawing upon signaling theory and social identity theory, we developed a theoretical model that illuminates the role of brand credibility as an important basis on which customers form and signal their brand-related self and social identities via positive word-of-mouth (WOM). The proposed model was empirically tested using time-lagged data from a sample of 249 students of a top university in a metropolitan city. The findings show that the credibility of a brand is of paramount importance for the customer in developing a sense of oneness with the brand as well as a sense of affinity with other users of the brand. Our study also offers the new insight that brands serve as symbolic devices that customers use in their evolving thought processes that create a link between personal identity and social identity. In addition, brand–social connection is essential in spreading positive WOM. Finally, our findings support a sequential mediation model in which brand credibility is positively related to brand–self connection and brand–social connection, which in turn are positively associated with positive WOM.

Keywords: Brand credibility; Brand–self connection; Brand–social connection; Word-of-mouth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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