ENTREPRENEURIAL BRANDING AND PURCHASE INTENTION: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF TRUSTWORTHINESS

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Marion Delaperche

Abstract

The challenge to trigger demand, achieve and sustain growth for newly emerged businesses is receiving considerable attention with the growing number of start-ups’ launches. Given their small size, their newness, their lack of consumer base, and the innovative nature of their offering, these businesses often face great consumer uncertainty. These hindrances lead consumers to perceive a high level of risk in the buying situation. Overcoming the lack of trust in their business is therefore a vital challenge for start-ups to ensure their sustainability.
This research aims to examine the extent to which entrepreneurial branding impact the purchase intention of new products through the development of trustworthiness. To achieve this objective, a quantitative survey with a twofold purpose was carried out. First, to determine which of the components of Entrepreneurial Branding (Innovativeness of Product, Charismatic Founder, and Start-up Culture) most impact Trustworthiness (Integrity, Ability, and Benevolence). Then, to assess the effect of Trustworthiness on Purchase Intention of new venture’s products. The data was collected from 53 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65, residing in France only. The Linear Regression test was employed to test the hypothesis. The result of the research showed that there is a relationship between Innovativeness of the Product and Ability. That is to say, the more the start-up’s product possesses new and innovative features, the more the start-up will be seen as an expert in its field of competence. Additionally, the findings highlight an existing relationship between the start-up’s culture and the three dimensions of Trustworthiness (Integrity, Ability, and Benevolence). These results imply that start-ups with an organizational culture which is people-oriented, enhances collaboration and encourages innovation is more likely to be seen as trustworthy by potential consumers.

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