The Effect of Online Reviews on Consumer-Based Brand Equity: Case-Study of the Polish Restaurant Sector

Abstract

Purpose: This paper focuses on the effects of positive and negative online reviews (eWOM) on the metrics of consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) in the context of the Polish restaurant sector.

Methodology: The dedicated online survey was completed by 777 consumers, which we then analyzed with structural equation modeling. Each catering outlet was to allow to order meals online. We used descriptive analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and path analysis to test the hypotheses.

Findings: The findings suggest that positive online reviews affect each CBBE variable in the online catering outlet’s context. In the case of known catering establishment’s offering in the option of placing orders via online platforms, negative eWOM only affects the perceived quality and brand loyalty. However, it does not change brand awareness and brand association.

Implications: This paper contributes to the body of literature on eWOM, which to date offers very little understanding of the topic of positive and negative online reviews and CBBE dimensions. Moreover, in terms of practical and managerial applications, this study can be used to delineate strategy in terms of management of eWOM to optimize brand strategies.

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