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EMAC 2023 Annual

Corporate Crisis Communication and Brand Forgiveness: The Role of Brand Attachment

Published: May 24, 2023


René Kerschbaumer, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences; Dietmar Kappel, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences; Aryan Salhenegger-Niamir, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences; Sophie Zorn, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences


Consumers nowadays have many possibilities to voice their opinions, and many of them possess no sensibilities of apprehension to relay their sentiments to the very brands whom they feel had wronged them. In certain instances, customers might even develop brand hate, which can lead to profound ramifications for brands, particularly when companies fail to adequately response. However, the number of publications on this topic remains limited. We strive to close this gap by addressing the roles of brand attachment and companies' response strategies for consumers' willingness to forgive a brand in the case of a value-based brand transgression. We show that brand attachment significantly increases brand forgiveness. Importantly, customers with medium to high brand attachment show levels of brand forgiveness that are unrelated to corporate responses. In contrast, consumers with low brand attachment show significant differences in brand forgiveness depending on the type of corporate response.