A new research study published in the Journal of Marketing suggests something surprising and perhaps even counterintuitive. According to the Journal, "the present research demonstrates that praising one’s competitor—via 'brand-to-brand praise'— often heightens preference for the praiser more so than other common forms of communication, such as self-promotion or benevolent information. This is because brand-to-brand praise increases perceptions of brand warmth, which leads to enhanced brand evaluations and choice. The authors support this theory with seven studies conducted in the lab, online, and in the field that feature multiple managerially-relevant outcomes, including brand attitudes, social media and advertising engagement, brand choice, and purchase behavior, in a variety of product and service contexts."
Keisha Cutright, a marketing professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and one of the study's researchers, says, “You don’t want to spend your media dollars talking about the competition, but there are times when it makes sense to say something nice, and at the same time, signal who you are as a brand. That message is that they’re a warm, caring brand that you can trust, which implies they’re also going to be considerate and warm to their customers.”
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