Cognitive and Affective Responses to Schema-incongruent Brand Messages: An Empirical Investigation

Georgios Halkias, Flora Kokkinaki

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


Introduction It is common ground in marketing communications that consistent and relevant brand messages appeal to consumers and increase brand equity over time (Aaker 1991; Keller 2003; Percy and Elliott 2005). This view has been widely documented through the various positioning and advertising models found in the literature, which emphasize the importance of identifying and managing consumers’ brand and product schemata in order to develop effective persuasive communication (Gutman 1982; Reynolds and Gutman 1984; Ratchford 1987; Rossiter et al. 1991). The underlying premise is that consumers generally react more favorably to brand communication that is congruent with the associations tied to the specific product. By definition, congruent brand information fits product associations in an obvious and meaningful manner that is supposed to be later translated into greater liking of the communication content. In other words, traditional approaches to marketing communication propose that persuasive messages that correspond to consumers’ knowledge and perceptions are more likely to be relevant, comprehensible, and appealing (Rossiter et al. 1991; Keller 2003; Brannon and Brock 2006; Petty and Wegener 1998). In essence, any persuasion situation can be thought of as consisting of three main components: (1) the recipient (e.g., the consumer); (2) the attitude object (e.g., the brand); and (3) the content of communication (e.g., the advertising) (Brannon and Brock 2006). Message persuasiveness is believed to be an increasing function of the fit between the attributes of these three components (Brannon and Brock 1994, 2006). Despite its intuitive appeal, however, a number of studies in cognitive psychology challenge the above proposition, suggesting that schema-incongruent information may lead to a more positive outcome (Mandler 1982; Fiske 1982; Fiske and Pavelchak 1986). Schema-based research indicates that incongruent stimuli may attract more of the recipients’ attention, increase their cognitive arousal, and may finally elicit more positive judgments (Mandler 1982; Thompson and Hamilton 2006; Fiske et al. 1987; Meyers-Levy et al. 1994; MeyersLevy and Tybout 1989). This phenomenon has been observed in a variety of

social domains, such as in people’s interpersonal relations, preferences for musical compositions, or infants’ preferences for objects (Meyers-Levy et al. 1994). In the consumer context, a number of studies have examined information incongruity under various marketing situations, providing insightful, yet inconclusive, findings (Lee and Mason 1999; Goodstein 1993; Wansink and Ray 1996). Most importantly, with a very few exceptions (Lange and Dahlén 2003; Dahlén et al. 2005), only limited attention has been given by researchers to the investigation of brand schemata incongruity. Drawing on schema research in cognitive psychology, we present an empirical study that builds upon existing literature by exploring cognitive and affective responses to brand communication that varies in terms of incongruity (i.e., congruent, moderately incongruent, and extremely incongruent) with consumers’ established brand schemata.
TitelNeuroscience and the Economics of Decision Making
RedaktørerAlessandro Innocenti
Antal sider17
ForlagTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780203122600
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa