How brand self-disclosure helps brands create intimacy with customers: The role of information valence and anthropomorphism
Although the notion of self-disclosure has received wide attention since the new millennium, most studies on this topic focus on consumer disclosure, leaving unexamined if brands could benefit from self-disclosure. Therefore, the question remains unanswered if the positive effects of brand self-disclosure on important relational and transactional variables observed in other contexts than consumer–brand relationships would be observed if self-disclosure was made by brands. This study addresses this question, specifically discussing if brand self-disclosure can enhance brand trust and willingness-to-buy (WTB) through the mediating effect of brand intimacy. Results from two scenario-based experiments indicate that engaging in self-disclosure—that is, disclosing some information that was kept unknown so far—helps brands create intimacy and trust with consumers, leading these individuals to exhibit higher WTB. Further, results show that all self-disclosures are not equal, and it is when the brand engages in the disclosure of positive (vs. negative) information that consumers perceive more brand intimacy, and this even more when such information is disclosed in an anthropomorphic manner. These findings thus provide consistent empirical evidence showing that brand self-disclosure—if providing positive information in an anthropomorphic manner—can serve as a critical tool for brands in their relationships with customers.
Huaman‐Ramirez, R., Lunardo, R. and Vasquez‐Parraga, A., 2022. How brand self‐disclosure helps brands create intimacy with customers: The role of information valence and anthropomorphism. Psychology & Marketing, 39(2), pp.460-477. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21609
Psychology & Marketing