Halo EffectOpen Access

Halo Effect

We incorrectly transfer judgements of known attributes onto other unrelated or unknown ones

Be it a partnership deal with a respected company or an investment into social responsibility, brand perceptions will bleed into unconnected areas.

Smith, Read & López-Rodríguez (2010). Consumer perceptions of corporate social responsibility: The CSR halo effect.

The study

Setup

165 people were told of a printer maker and split into four 'halo' groups (environment, community, customers or employees) and a control. Each group were then told of its extra efforts in these areas and then quizzed about its Corporate Social Responsibility in general.

Results

People assumed the halo groups to be more socially-responsible in unrelated areas, despite no evidence!

Study graph

Key Takeaways

Invest in reputation. 

Since we take shortcuts when judging brand character, first impressions matter. Where in society, the environment, with customers or with employees can you foster initiatives that will trigger the Halo Effect?

Takeaway image

Spend wisely

i.e. investing in employee and community relations has been found to more persuasively impact the judgements of corruption prosecutors than promoting diversity or being environmentally friendly (Hong & Liskovich, 2015).

Takeaway image

Consider co-branding.

Evaluations of new products are heightened by the presence of at least one high-equity brand (Besharat, 2010). Instead of launching a sub-brand, consider partnering with other brands that complement your values or already make CSR efforts that you aspire to.

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
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Halo Effect

Halo Effect

We incorrectly transfer judgements of known attributes onto other unrelated or unknown ones

Be it a partnership deal with a respected company or an investment into social responsibility, brand perceptions will bleed into unconnected areas.

The study

Setup

165 people were told of a printer maker and split into four 'halo' groups (environment, community, customers or employees) and a control. Each group were then told of its extra efforts in these areas and then quizzed about its Corporate Social Responsibility in general.

Results

People assumed the halo groups to be more socially-responsible in unrelated areas, despite no evidence!

study graph
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