2018 journal article
A "good" new brand - What happens when new brands try to stand out through corporate social responsibility
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS RESEARCH, 92, 231–241.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly used as a key part of a firm's branding strategy, especially for new brands hoping to stand out in mature markets. Unfortunately, data here demonstrate that new product trial is lower when new brands tout CSR activity than when they do not. To understand this surprising phenomenon, we find CSR has a negative effect on new brands' perceived product performance. Happily, we find a fix for new brands; negative effects for new brands can be reversed if the company explicitly signals a priority for both the product and its CSR endeavors. Importantly, we do not see a similar negative impact of CSR on established brands.