Are third-party green-brown ratings believed?The role of prior brand loyalty and environmental concern
This study shows the role of consumers' prior brand loyalty and environmental concern in their responses to third-party green-brown ratings of a brand. The online quasi-experiment with a national sample of U.S. consumers revealed that the validity of third-party green-brown ratings is believed equally between consumers with high and low environmental concern, but the impact of the ratings on brand greenness perception was greater among consumers with high (vs. low) environmental concern. This study also shows that consumers who are loyal to a brand are more likely to accept the validity of the brand's green rating than that of its brown rating. Further, loyal consumers deny the relevance of the brown rating to the brand's greenness. These findings suggest biased assimilation of third-party green-brown rating information as a function of the consumer's prior brand loyalty and environmental concern. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of the findings.