Can CSR and sustainability signals increase corporate brand performance and brand equity? What makes these signals more effective? Although research largely evaluates these questions, this research, using secondary data on 135 different brands across industries and countries, explores foreign and domestic performance, and compares sustainability and CSR signals, providing new perspectives. Further, we uniquely contribute to the dialogue that country origin influences signal effectiveness, using the corporate brand's country of origin sustainability reputation (COSR). Using bivariate analysis and OLS regression to discover these relationships, the exploratory findings provide theoretical and practical implications. For domestic (vs. international) performance, sustainability (vs. both) signals are important, especially for corporate brands from mid-ranked CORS. Interestingly, consumer misbeliefs in sustainability affect domestic performance and brand equity. For equity, consumer perceptions, CSR signals, and sustainability signals contribute to brand equity, and can be more effective for corporate brands from low or mid-ranked COSR. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.
- brand equity
- corporate brand reputation
- corporate social responsibility
- country of origin