Bettina Maisch, Jochen Binder, Beat Schmid, and Larry Leifer
The aspect of trust is critical to the success of the communication of innovations, particularly in the context of the introduction of a new product. Due to the characteristics of innovations – especially those with a high degree of innovation – the target groups often view them with uncertainty or even fear. Since negative feelings have a stronger effect than the desire and interest in the new, (potential) customers are often reserved or even rejectful of the innovation. In order to help alleviate uncertainties and to build trust, companies must communicate their innovation to the target group by means of targeted trust communication. This study examines the aspect of trust using user participation in Web 2.0 innovation communication in the concrete example of the introduction of the hybrid vehicle Chevrolet Volt on the private social networking platform, Facebook. The results of the study allows the identification of four different levels of communication of trust: the level of relationship or communication, of the innovation, of the company and of the innovative product.