The brand likeability effect: Can firms make themselves more likeable

Bang Nguyen*, T. C. Melewar, Junsong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In 2011, Lincoln Automobiles, part of the Ford Motor Company and named after President Lincoln, was voted as the most liked company in America. Lincoln's customer satisfaction ratings were the highest they had been in the past 15 years. Although brand managers implicitly emphasise the importance of likeability in branding strategies, brand likeability is a concept that is little researched, particularly at the firm level. The question of 'what is likeable?' has not yet been answered thoroughly and few studies have to date examined what causes a firm or brand to be perceived as liked or disliked. This paper aims to provide an understanding of the theories and concepts that explain brand likeability. The comprehensive literature review identifies two dimensions: source stimuli and psychological evaluations. Additionally, the authors propose several outcomes of brand likeability, extending existing knowledge on brand love and attitude research, offering managers defining principles of the Brand Likeability Effect. The proposed implications for managers are in four phases; implementing these into the firm's branding practices increases the likelihood that customers will perceive the firm as being more likeable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-50
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of General Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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