Does brand familiarity have any impact on repairing trust between a company and customer in the time of crisis?
Extant research has shown trust to be damaged between a company and customer if a crisis or violation occurs. Prior research has focused on examining what the best course of action would be for a company to take in a crisis, and how best to repair the trust afterwards. However, there has been scant investigation into whether repairing that trust is directly linked to how familiar a customer is with the brand. This paper presents a review of the existing literature on trust, trust repair and brand familiarity, and conducts two research studies to examine the implications of repairing trust after a crisis or violation for a familiar brand and an unfamiliar brand. 256 questionnaires were collected and analysed using SPSS, with questions centred on how a crisis affects a customer’s perception of trust, loyalty and forgiveness based on their familiarity with a brand under three conditions – denial, admittance and prior knowledge of the crisis. results show that brand familiarity does impact upon repairing trust between a company and customer, and their ability to forgive and remain loyal to the familiar brand, as respondents are shown to be less forgiving and are thus unlikely to trust them post crisis. By admitting and apologising for the crisis, a familiar brand is more likely to be able to regain trust. Respondents place great emphasis on the role of the media, with most respondents likely to adopt the media portrayal of the crisis. The paper concludes with future research directions suggested.
Citation : Jackson, O & Hickman, E (2017). Does brand familiarity have any impact on repairing trust between a company and customer in the time of crisis? BCUR conference, Bournemouth, April 2017
Peer Reviewed : Yes