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When a consumer has a bad experience involving a company’s products — be it purchasing a car with a safety defect, becoming the victim of a data breach or having baggage lost by an airline — you might think he or she wouldn’t care too much about the business’s good intentions.

But the opposite appears to be true. When deciding whether to report a negative incident, customers seem to be more influenced by whether they think the company is friendly, sincere and well-intended — a quality that marketing academics and practitioners call brand warmth — than by whether they think the company can produce high-quality products, or what marketers call brand competence.

Hoorsana Damavandi, assistant professor of marketing, joined Vivek Astvansh from McGill University and Anshu Suri from University College Dublin to research how brand identity affects customers’ willingness to report problems. Read more about their findings at The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.


Cindi King (865-974-0937,