The influence of negative emotions on brand trust and intention to share cause-related posts: A neuroscientific study

Enrique Bigné

Carla Ruiz-Mafé

Alberto Badenes-Rocha

Negative user-generated content provides cues that warn other consumers to avoid using a particular product or service. This study explores whether brand feedback can counteract consumer backlash to a given company’s cause-related marketing, with a particular focus on how visual attention can moderate negative emotions. Hypotheses based on the Appraisal-Tendency Framework and commitment-trust theory were tested using neurophysiological tools (eye tracking and facial coding) and self-reported measures. The findings suggest that emotions with similar valence and arousal levels cause differing trust perceptions and consumer behavioral responses (sharing intentions), based on the presence or absence of brand feedback. Brand feedback diminishes customers’ visual attention to negative comments in cause-related marketing posts. Consumers’ visual attention to negative comments on a given brand’s cause-related posts, reduces brand trust and its influence on sharing intentions. The findings contribute to the literature by describing mechanisms through which brand feedback influences brand outcomes.

This publication uses Eye Tracking Screen Based and Facial Expression Analysis which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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