Family Firm Reputation and Humanization: Consumers and the Trust Advantage of Family Firms Under Different Conditions of Brand Familiarity

Susanne Beck, Reinhard Prügl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

817 Downloads (Pure)


Pioneering conceptual and empirical work ascribe a trust advantage to family firms compared with their nonfamily analogies. But it remains unknown if this trust advantage persists with varying degrees of consumers' brand familiarity. Furthermore, the underlying cognitive mechanisms in the minds of consumers that trigger the trust advantage remain unexplored. Using mixed methods, four studies indicate that family firms' trust advantage does prevail in the context of real and familiar brands, and the strength of consumers' perception of an organization as a human being (i.e., humanization) explains higher levels of benevolence and trust attributed to family firms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Business Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)460-482
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Family firm reputation
  • Corporate brands
  • Real brands
  • Brand familiarity
  • Humanization

Cite this