How to recovering biological and other brand trust after greenwashing? from legitimacy and rhetorical viewAuthor(s): Rui Guo, Lan Tao, Pan Gao
In present China with incremental environmental problems, many companies in B2C markets create a lot of green brands to enhance their competitive advantage. However, many greenwashing biological and other brands can’t keep their words about their green commitments. Thus they are facing a trust crisis. Now, the problem they need to solve is how to make them restore trust. But the extant green brand research first ignored overall social support (legitimacy) on brand trust, and was limited in trust rebuilding from a rhetorical perspective. Therefore, this study, from a rhetorical perspective, uses legitimacy, greenwashing, and green brand theories to analyze the trust rebuilding strategies and mechanism. The results from five experiment show that: (1) trust rebuilding mechanism, in which green brand greenwashing has a negative impact of legitimacy which has a positive impact on brand trust; (2) trust rebuilding strategies from a rhetorical perspective, in which except value rhetorical strategy, the instrumental and normative rhetorical strategies can improve brand trust of green brands after greenwashing. These interesting findings can not only enrich extant brand management and green marketing, but also provide vital implications to green brand companies.