Forgiving By Not Forgetting: the Effect of Compensations Following Brand Transgressions

Cassie Mogilner Theriault, Stanford University
Jennifer Aaker, University of California, Berkeley
This research focuses on the impact of compensations following a brand transgression, examining when compensation efforts may be effective (leading to favorable attitudes) versus backfire (leading to unfavorable attitudes). The results of three experiments reveal that brand-related compensations lead to more favorable attitudes than brand-unrelated compensations, but only when consumers had a positive prior relationship with the brand. Importantly, brand-related compensations became relatively ineffective when there was no prior consumer-brand relationship, and indeed backfired when the prior relationship was negative. Insight into the underlying process was documented through tests of moderation where transgressions were manipulated (Cafe Study), were imagined (Airline Study), and naturally occurred (Baseball Study).
[ to cite ]:
Cassie Mogilner Theriault and Jennifer Aaker (2008) ,"Forgiving By Not Forgetting: the Effect of Compensations Following Brand Transgressions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 149-152.