Consumers tend to relate to brands in similar ways as they relate to individuals and groups. However, relatively little is known about the attribution of human traits to brands in online contexts. The current research focused on the role of attributed brand traits in interactive corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and positive electronic word‐of‐mouth intentions. Results of an online survey (N = 174) revealed that higher levels of perceived interactivity were associated with stronger attributions of morality, sociability, and competence traits to brands. Yet only attributed brand morality was associated with consumers' willingness to endorse the brand and its CSR message on social networking sites. These findings underline the importance of brands' openness to dialogue regarding the promotion of CSR activities. Furthermore, these findings suggest that consumers are most likely to feel that brands can represent their identity when brand morality is considered to be high.,
Journal of Consumer Behaviour
Department of Media and Communication

van Prooijen, A.-M., & Bartels, J. (2019). Anthropomorphizing brands: The role of attributed brand traits in interactive CSR communication and consumer online endorsements. Journal of Consumer Behaviour. doi:10.1002/cb.1786