ارزش ویژه برند و عوامل تشدید ارزیابی شکست نوآوری محصول: دیدگاه اثر ارتباطات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2006||2012||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5230 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 22 October 2012
When both high-equity and low-equity brands experience an innovation failure, does the high-equity brand fare better? This study investigates this question by exploring how consumers view and evaluate brands following an innovation failure. The researchers examine whether brand equity, preannouncement of the innovation, and word-of-mouth from an opinion leader exacerbate or alleviate the negative impact of the failure. Two experiments with a total of 816 subjects show that high-equity brands suffer less than low-equity brands from the adverse effects of innovation failures. However, innovation failures are more detrimental to high-equity brands that have preannounced the innovation and to low-equity brands that do not receive supportive word-of-mouth from an opinion leader after the failures occur.
Innovation and brand equity are two important dimensions that drive businesses today; innovation in particular is a primary determinant of brand equity (Staake et al., 2009). Although the research on explanations for innovation failures is plentiful (e.g., Guo, 2002, Matear et al., 2002 and Rizova, 2006), few researchers have investigated the effect of innovation failures on consumers' evaluations of brands. For example, when a firm's innovation fails, consumers are likely to experience stress, irritation, annoyance, frustration, and sometimes even rage (McColl-Kennedy and Sparks, 2003 and Smith and Bolton, 2002). Roehm and Brady (2007) suggest that “consumers' frustration is compounded by the high expectations attached to brands of strong stature” (p. 537). Frustration, annoyance, and anger with a firm influence how consumers evaluate the firm's innovations (Dube & Maute, 1996) and negatively affect customer satisfaction (Andreassen, 2000). The result may be a loss of customers, a negative impact on the firm's brand equity, and damage to the firm's valuable brand assets (Sparks & McColl-Kennedy, 2001). This article investigates (1) the effect of brand equity on consumers' brand evaluations when a brand innovation fails and (2) the moderating effects of innovation preannouncement and an opinion leader's post-failure word-of-mouth (WOM) to determine the respective roles of these two communication factors in mitigating or exacerbating the catastrophic influence of innovation failures. Preannouncing a new product is a fast and relatively inexpensive way of preparing target markets for a forthcoming innovation (Schatzel & Calantone, 2006). Although by some estimates more than 50% of new products are preannounced (Bayus et al., 2001), it is unknown to what degree preannouncements affect brand equity in the context of innovation failure. In addition, after an innovation fails, firms may try to seek out supportive WOM from opinion leaders to mitigate the damage (Maxham, 2001). Thus, both the preannouncement and the opinion leaders' WOM should affect consumers' post-failure evaluations. This study contributes to the literature in the following ways. First, it sheds light on how consumers evaluate brands in the context of innovation failure, an important issue that has received limited theoretical attention and empirical assessment. Second, it uses theories on communication effects, expectation–disconfirmation, brand schema, the halo effect, and the buffering effect (Andreassen, 2000, Boulding et al., 1993 and McDaniel, 1999) to provide insight into how firms' endogenous and exogenous communication in the form of preannouncements and WOM allay or aggravate failures of brands of different stature. The remainder of this article is organized as follows. The researchers first describe the theoretical background in terms of communication effects and innovation failure. They then develop hypotheses and present the experimental designs, measures, and results. Finally, they discuss the results, the limitations of the study, and the implications of the findings for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether brand equity mitigates the adverse effect of innovation failures and whether this adverse effect is moderated by innovation preannouncement and an opinion leader's WOM. These questions have been the subject of relatively little empirical assessment and thus are still unresolved (Roehm & Brady, 2007). Overall, the results show that high-equity brands suffer less damage from innovation failures when the moderating factors are not in effect. That is, high-equity brands use their cumulative brand assets and consumer impressions to create a halo effect against the consequences of innovation failures. This finding confirms Choi and Mattila's (2008) assertion that a strong brand reputation will bias consumers' post-failure evaluations but contradicts the claim of Niedrich et al. (2005) that consumers will be more upset when a prominent brand fails than when a weaker brand does. The present findings for the moderating effects discussed below may provide some useful explanations for this inconsistency. Although high brand equity offers protection, the brand halo does not always glow in certain situations. For instance, consumers' likelihood of forgiving high-equity brands decreases significantly when the brands have preannounced innovations that end up failing. The gap between the brands' actual performances and the consumers' heightened expectations resulting from the innovation preannouncement increases consumers' disappointment and dissatisfaction with the high-equity brands. Roehm and Brady (2007) find a similar tendency, except that in high-equity brands they discover a single-deviation effect of negative disconfirmation against consumers' schema-based expectations. In the present study, when high-equity brands preannounce an innovation that subsequently fails, the brands face a double-deviation effect of consumers' negative disconfirmation against not only their schema-based expectations but also communication-based anticipations. In addition, brands use public communications to portray their firms' competence and establish trusts and relationships with customers (Ledingham & Bruning, 1998). When an innovation fails, consumers might attribute this failure to firms' internal control issues that they perceive as less tolerable with reputable brands; this attribution in turn results in more negative evaluations for high-equity brands (Yen et al., 2004). The good news for high-equity brands is that when they are buttressed by opinion leaders' supportive WOM, consumers tend to demonstrate greater understanding and forgiveness in terms of accommodating the brands' innovation failures. Conversely, when high-equity brands fail to receive supportive WOM from an opinion leader, they have to cope with the aftermath of the innovation failure. Finally, although innovation preannouncements result in relatively less harm to low-equity brands than high-equity brands, lack of opinion leaders' WOM is more detrimental to low-equity brands, as low-equity brands are not endowed with as much brand halo as high-equity brands are. This somewhat contrary finding is that gaining the support of opinion leaders can mitigate the effects of adverse situations as much for low-equity brands as for high-equity ones. Therefore, supportive WOM from opinion leaders can matter much more to low-equity brands. 6.1. Implications Despite the vast amount of research on innovation (e.g., O'Connor and DeMartino, 2006 and Staake et al., 2009), few studies review the impact of innovation failures on brand evaluations. The present study outlines the influence of innovation failures on brands of high and low equity and shows that the effects may vary under certain conditions. The findings provide some useful implications for managers and practitioners dealing with innovation failures. Because innovation projects demand a long-term commitment (O'Connor & DeMartino, 2006), managers must not only produce a remarkable innovation but also know how to respond when innovations fail. In most cases, high-equity brands can prevent and avoid the destructive effects of innovation failures. Holding all else constant, high-equity brands are safer than low-equity brands from poor consumer evaluations following an innovation failure (Choi & Mattila, 2008). Firms should thus make greater efforts to strengthen their brand equity. Moreover, estimates show that more than half of customer switching behaviors are due to failures of products or services or to firms' inadequate responses to these failures (Keaveney, 1995). Hence, communication (especially prudent preannouncements and supportive WOM from a strong opinion leader) is extremely important for diluting negative post-failure evaluations of brands. A well-executed WOM image repair communication offers a great opportunity for both high- and low-equity brands to turn a negative experience into a less harmful or even positive one (Ok et al., 2007). 6.2. Limitations and future research Like most studies, the present study is subject to certain limitations that provide opportunities for future research. First, the two experiments used an experimental design with artificial scenarios rather than real failure scenarios. Respondents might not have truly reacted to the innovation failures, unavailability, and losses as they would in the real world. However, researchers in similar studies have also used this role-playing method (e.g., Hess, 2008, Smith and Bolton, 2002 and Weun et al., 2004). Moreover, this method may minimize the memory bias that is a common concern in studies of self-reports of service failures (Smith et al., 1999). Second, this study involved a specific type of product innovation (high-tech failure). Innovation of different degrees and types may attract different levels of consumer attention and response. Also, consumer involvement or engagement with different types of innovation may affect evaluations of innovation failures (Sawhney et al., 2005). Therefore, replicating this research using other types or degrees of innovation should help verify the applicability of the study's findings. Third, the severity of failure was held constant. The study did not examine any types of failure attribution, such as locus of control, stability, or controllability. Consumer attributions of stability and locus of control of firms' service innovation failures play a critical role in modifying brand evaluations (Liao & Cheng, 2011), and future research may examine the effects of these different moderators. Finally, although an opinion leader's supportive WOM effectively alleviated the devastating impact of the innovation failure on brand evaluations, the researchers examined this external influence in the post-failure stage only. Researchers still do not know how opinion leaders respond and make self-attributions when the innovations they are promoting ultimately fail or whether their pre-failure support of the brand's innovations jeopardizes their credibility in their social networks. Future studies can tap into these areas.