Open Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2020)

ISSN Print: 2327-5952   ISSN Online: 2327-5960

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.84  Citations  

Good Reviews Go out the Door, Bad News Travels Fast?—Research on the Influence of Reference Groups and Their Language Styles in Positive Online Reviews on Consumers’ Brand Attitudes

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2020.82022    446 Downloads   709 Views  Citations

ABSTRACT

Based on the theory of brand identity and social comparison theory, this study explores how positive comments from different reference group types affect consumers’ brand evaluation and purchasing intentions, and then this study discusses how the language style of positive online reviews can further regulate the influence of positive comments from different reference group types according to social comparison theory. The study by two scenario-based experiments found that when positive comments come from avoided groups compared to desired groups, consumers produce lower brand evaluation and willingness to buy, in which the psychological mechanism is that consumers are influenced by the avoided group and produce lower brand identity. Interestingly, the language style of positive reviews has a significant lytic effect on the effect of positive comments in the reference group. Compared with self-reinforcing language style, when avoiding the group’s self-deprecating language style, consumers will produce higher brand identity based on downward comparison, which in turn leads to higher brand evaluation and willingness to buy. This study examines the influence of reference group type on positive comment effect, and on this basis, for the first time verifies the adjustment effect of different language styles on the positive comment of the reference group, which to some extent makes up for the deficiency of the existing theory, and also gives the enterprise how to view the positive comments correctly. In the era of Internet e-commerce to make good use of the power of online review to build a good brand image, improve marketing effect provides the corresponding management inspiration.

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Zhang, J. and Huang, Y. (2020) Good Reviews Go out the Door, Bad News Travels Fast?—Research on the Influence of Reference Groups and Their Language Styles in Positive Online Reviews on Consumers’ Brand Attitudes. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 271-295. doi: 10.4236/jss.2020.82022.

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