That is disgusting! Should I trust you?: The role of mindsets in brand trust after a negative incident

Rogelio Puente-Díaz, Judith Cavazos-Arroyo


Purpose – The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of mindsets on consumers’ reactions to a negative event involving a corporate brand.


Design/methodology/approach – We conducted two studies, one qualitative and one quantitative. In study 1, participants were shown a picture of the incident with a caption and personal interviews were conducted with consumers of the category involved in the event, i.e. green chilies. In study 2, participants were shown the same picture as in study 1 and completed a set of questionnaires assessing mindsets, brand trust, and purchase intention.


Findings – Study 1 showed the presence of a theme involving the stability versus malleability of brands, used to explain the decision to either trust and purchase the brand again or not. Study 2 showed a positive relationship between a growth mindset and brand trust. Similarly, brand trust was positively related to purchase intention. The latent class model showed that the two classes with higher levels of a growth mindset were more likely to trust the brand and purchase it after the negative event.


Originality/value – To our knowledge, only one investigation has examined the role of mindsets in consumers’ reactions after a negative incident involving a corporate brand. Hence, this investigation tried to answer a recent call from several consumer behavior scholars for more research on mindsets.


Mindsets, brand trust, corporate brands, implicit theories


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