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The effectiveness of online cause-related marketing message framing on hotel brand evaluation.

Kim, Hye Rhim (2020) The effectiveness of online cause-related marketing message framing on hotel brand evaluation. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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With increasing competition in hospitality and tourism companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been suggested as a strategy for generating goodwill and enhancing reputation among customers. As one of the marketing tools for implementing CSR, Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) – which directly links product sales to the support of a charity – has also become an important focus of attention in the hotel industry. Although CRM can generate positive impacts on business (e.g., financial benefit, improved brand evaluation), it can also backfire when consumers perceive that the hotel is using it mainly for its own benefit (i.e., profit motivation). Furthermore, if the hotel has a poor reputation, consumers would become more suspicious of a hotel’s involvement in social causes. That is, consumers will attribute more strongly a hotel’s self-serving motives (vs. public-serving) to CRM campaigns of less reputable hotels, suspecting that the hotels use the initiatives largely as a tactic to improve their reputation. In this sense, hotels have to consider strategies to introduce their CRM messages properly, and how to convey the hotel’s social motivation in order for the CRM to be effective in eliciting positive responses. In spite of the evidence that the potential risks of consumers’ scepticism could lead to negative outcomes, there is a paucity of research explaining how to communicate CRM effectively with a consideration of perceived brand reputation. Therefore, this study aims to examine the interaction effect between advertising message framing (promotion-framed vs. prevention-framed) strategy and brand reputation (high vs. low) on consumers’ brand evaluation (brand attitude, word-of-mouth, purchase intention) in the context of CRM in the hotel industry. Employing a multiple quantitative methods approach with two experimental studies, data were collected through a survey-based experiment (Study I: self-reported measures) and a laboratory experiment (Study II: psychophysiological measures). Study I examined the moderating role of brand reputation as well as consumer-related factors (processing fluency, social cause attitude, perceived fit) to illustrate how the relationship between message framing and brand reputation can be explained. The experiment was executed online with 248 UK-based participants. As emotional arousal or engagement with advertisements has been proven to be an effective tool for social initiatives, Study II examined the impact of consumers’ emotional responses during an exposure to CRM advertisements, thereby complementing Study I’s findings. Using physiological measurements of automatic emotional reactions through biosensors (eye-tracking, facial expression, skin conductance), the data collection and analysis were facilitated by the iMotions software platform. A total 67 UK-based respondents were involved. This study found evidence that consumers prefer more prevention-framed messages (vs. promotion-framed) in CRM from hotels with a less reputable brand. That is, hotels with low reputation should point out the importance of avoiding a threat or danger in their charitable advertisements. This study extends prior research on the relative persuasiveness of message framing, revealing that the two types of CRM message strategies evoked by advertising lead to different attitude and behavioural changes. Additionally, focusing on the role of brand reputation and emotions, the current study contributes to knowledge on how hotels can mitigate the potential negative implications of CRM by choosing the right communication content.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Kim, Hye Rhim
Date : 31 July 2020
Funders : Self-funded
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00858156
Contributors :
Depositing User : Hye Rhim Kim
Date Deposited : 29 Jul 2020 15:39
Last Modified : 29 Jul 2020 15:39

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