The role of self-definitional principles in consumer identification with a socially responsible company

Journal of Business Ethics 89 (4):547 - 564 (2009)
This research analyses the influence of the perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR image) on consumer–company identification (C–C identification). This analysis involves an examination of the influence of CSR image on brand identity characteristics which provide consumers with an instrument to satisfy their self-definitional needs, thereby perceiving the brand as more attractive. Also, the direct and mediated influences (through their effect on brand attitude), of CSR-based C–C identification on purchase intention are analysed. The results offer empirical evidence that CSR generates more C–C identification because it improves brand prestige and distinctiveness; brand coherence is also a powerful antecedent of brand attractiveness in the context of CSR communication. Finally, CSR-based C–C identification is able to generate directly better attitude towards the brand and greater purchase intention
Keywords social responsibility  identification  brand attractiveness  brand coherence  brand distinctiveness  brand prestige  brand attitude  purchase intention
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