The Impact of Employee Behavior on Brand Personality Impressions: the Moderating Effect of Pseudorelevant Information

Daniel Wentzel, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Sven Henkel, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
When sales employees interact with consumers, they often disclose personal information that is irrelevant to the interaction itself but is indicative of their more general interests, plans, and experiences. We propose that such personal, yet irrelevant (i.e., pseudorelevant) information affects the personality impressions that consumers form of the brand. Specifically, our findings show that consumers do not generalize an employee's behavior to the brand personality to the full extent if the employee discloses pseudorelevant information. We demonstrate that these effects occur because consumers are motivated to form an accurate impression of the employee, as a result of which they disassociate the employee from the brand after receiving pseudorelevant information.
[ to cite ]:
Daniel Wentzel and Sven Henkel (2009) ,"The Impact of Employee Behavior on Brand Personality Impressions: the Moderating Effect of Pseudorelevant Information", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 705-706.