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EMAC 2022 Regional Conference

Private Labels, Product Harm Crises, and Cross-Brand Learning

Published: December 1, 2022


Olivier Reimann, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Oliver Thomas, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Gunther Kucza, ZHAW School of Management and Law


This paper combines the literature streams on private labels (PL) and product harm crises (PHC) in the context of cross-brand learning. In an experiment, we investigate how a PHC about a PL affects (a) consumer evaluations of the defective product, (b) whether consumer evaluations of a competing retailers' PL, and (c) a national brand within the same product category are affected. We find that the defective PL product suffers from dramatic reductions in attitude, perceived quality, trust, and purchase intent. Furthermore, the PHC of one retailer's PL negatively affects consumer evaluations of other retailers' PL but not the national brand.