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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Does Voice Up Pay off? The Impact of Brand Activism on Consumer Brand Advocacy

Published: May 27, 2020


Sumin Kim, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester; Amanda Wilcox, The University of Manchester; Hongwei He, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester


Brand Activism; Other Praising Emotions; CSR


An increasing number of brands have begun to engage in brand activism, which refers to a brand’s social initiative to promote social reform with the desire to improve society. Yet little is known about what impact it has on consumers. By adopting a perspective of other-praising emotions, we suggest that brand activism elicits gratitude and admiration, which in turn promote consumer brand advocacy. Furthermore, the research found that the brand's existing CSR reputation enhances gratitude and admiration elicited from brand activism, due to increased perception of the value-driven motive behind brand activism. Additionally, this effect is stronger for consumers who are more strongly involved in the focal cause of brand activism. This research not only demonstrates the positive impact of brand activism on consumer brand advocacy through eliciting other-praising emotions but also advances our understanding of how and when those emotions are more likely to be elicited by brand activism.