Customer empowerment in the face of perceived Incompetence: Effect on preference for anthropomorphized brands
Source of Publication
Journal of Business Research
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Brands often tell consumers that they have power, either directly through slogans such as Burger King's famous “Have it your way” or by allowing them to exert control over the purchasing process (e.g., product and service customization). Yet, not everyone may feel competent enough to handle a sudden increase in empowerment. Would then variations in perceived competence affect how power influences social interactions in the marketplace? In this research, we address this question in relation to brand anthropomorphism given managers’ widespread practice of imbuing brands with human features. In five studies, we found evidence that customer empowerment heightened a sense of social dominance and drove preference for anthropomorphized brands when feelings of competence were high. In contrast, when feelings of competence were threatened, customer empowerment drove people away from anthropomorphized brands because resentment overcame feelings of social dominance.
Khenfer, Jamel; Shepherd, Steven; and Trendel, Olivier, "Customer empowerment in the face of perceived Incompetence: Effect on preference for anthropomorphized brands" (2020). Scopus Indexed Articles. 93.