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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

The Dual Role of Fluency in Shaping Brand Evaluations

Published: May 25, 2021


Lisa Eckmann, Goethe University Frankfurt; Jan Landwehr, Goethe University Frankfurt


Recent research has suggested a dual role of fluency in evaluative judgments, in that both the Hedonic Fluency Model, which uplifts evaluations, and the Fluency Amplification Model, which amplifies pre-existing judgmental tendencies, are at work simultaneously. We apply this notion to a marketing context by investigating how fluency affects the evaluations of known and unknown brands. In one correlational study and three experimental studies, we find that brand evaluations are shaped by the co-occurrence of both hedonic and amplifying fluency. Importantly, the underlying process reveals itself more clearly for unknown than for known brands, which is of theoretical and managerial relevance. We also test valence strength as a possible moderator of both fluency components, but do not find significant effects. Still, more empirical work on possible boundary conditions of the fluency components is needed that would also enhance the understanding of how brand evaluations are formed.