Essays on Brand Trust Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Rajavi, Koushyar
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Brand Trust is defined as the “willingness of the average consumer to rely on the ability of the brand to perform its stated function” (Chaudhuri and Holbrook 2001, p. 82). Trust plays a key role in brand success by lowering customers’ purchase risk and easing their decision making. Despite the importance of brand trust, industry reports indicate alarming decline in consumer trust in brands across the world. For example, Young & Rubicam (2011) reported that the percentage of brands that customers trusted dropped from 49% in 2001 to 25% in 2010. In the meantime, despite growing managerial interest in brand trust, marketing literature lacks generalizable insights regarding antecedents and consequences of brand trust. Specifically, there is need for research to investigate the impact of marketing activities on brand trust, the implications and consequences of brand trust (and violation of brand trust), and the characteristics that explain the heterogeneity in relationships between brand trust and related concepts. I address these issues in three studies. In the first study, I examine the relationship between five marketing mix instruments (advertising, new product introduction, distribution, price, price promotion) and brand trust. Using a unique dataset that combines consumer surveys and scanner panel data on 589 leading national brands in 46 CPG categories across 13 countries, I also examine category and country level characteristics that moderate the relationships between marketing mix activities and brand trust. In the second study of this dissertation, I examine the dynamics of the most important consequence of brand trust – i.e., brand equity – and the impact of economic business cycles on brand equity. Moreover, I study category and brand level moderators that safeguard brand equity against macroeconomic fluctuations. In doing so, I use monthly data on 150 leading CPG brands in 36 categories across 17 years. In the final study, I investigate violation of brand trust. In doing so, I examine 143 product recalls in 12 European countries and focus on the impact of price promotions. Additionally, I study recall, category, and country level characteristics that explain the heterogeneity in post-recall performance and price promotion effectiveness.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Kushwaha, Tarun
  • Kesavan, Saravanan
  • Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict
  • Dinner, Isaac
  • Gielens, Katrijn
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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