A stereotype is a collection of associations that links a target group to a set of descriptive characteristics. The concept of stereotype applied to individuals also applies to nonhuman entities such as corporations. Consumers are open to the idea that marketplace entities can possess human-like traits, and many consumers react positively to personified products. This entry discusses the features of stereotypes and their relationship to corporate reputation.

Research has found that many consumers perceive nonprofits as generally warm, while corporations are seen as competent. Despite the fact that such beliefs are largely based on stereotypes, they can profoundly affect consumer choices and expectation. In fact, corporations often purposively create certain corporate identities or images that reflect personalities or certain types of stereotypes.

Nonetheless, it is important to ...

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