Consumer-Brand Relations: An Investigation Into the Concept of Brand Hate

Consumer-Brand Relations: An Investigation Into the Concept of Brand Hate

Ruchi Garg (BML Munjal University, India), Ritu Chikkara (BML Munjal University, India), Himanshu Suman (Hero Motocorp, India), Shashan Pande (Axis Bank, India), Rahul Sharan (Hero Motocorp, India) and Tapan Kumar Panda (Jindal Global Business School, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2921-7.ch005
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Abstract

This research adapted Stemberg's (2003) triangular theory of hate to explore consumer brand relationships. Authors discussed that the protean character of Consumer brand relations (CBRs) in negative way has not been explored by prior conceptualizations in consumer research. The study conceptual scheme, in conformity with Stemberg's theory, was centred on the view that three psychological processes such as motivation, cognition, and emotion interact in several combinations to govern the nature of consumers' relations with brands. Authors' conceptualized eight kinds of CBRs by considering every combination of the three underlying psychological components. Authors have adopted the scale of hate from interpersonal relationship literature and tested it in context of consumer brand relationship. The managerial and theoretical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed in detail.
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Introduction

Businesses enjoy many benefits by forming an image of their products/services in such a way that consumers start developing a strong emotional relationship with the brand (Albert et al., 2013; Carroll & Ahuvia, 2006). This helps brands to reap benefits in the form of positive word of mouth, brand trust, repurchase intention, consumer citizenship behaviour, and so on (Batra et al., 2012; Albert et al., 2013; Garg et al., 2015). Hence, brand is an important asset for the success of any business (Aaker, 1991). Just as the consumer’s emotional connection with a brand could generate loyalty, one could also speculate the influence of a negative emotional connection of consumer and brand in the consumer’s perception, brand loyalty, and on the profitability of the business (Zarantonello, Romani, Grappi, & Bagozzi, 2016).

Despite an increased interest in the relationship between consumers and brands, it can be argued that brand hate has been rather neglected and has received almost zilch amount of attention in the marketing and consumer behaviour literature (Bosse, 2014; Bryson, Atwal, & Dreissig, 2010; Dalli et al., 2006; Delzen, 2014; Lee et al., 2009; Romani et al., 2012; Salvatori, 2007, Zarantonello et al., 2016). Research on negative evaluations of products and brands is very limited, especially when compared to the existing research on positive attitudes (Zarantonello et al., 2016). This asymmetry in research is understandable, particularly in the marketing field as companies and institutions are greatly interested in the practical consequences of positive forms of knowledge (Dalli, Romani, & Gistri, 2006).

However, even as it is important to study the concepts of brand loyalty and brand love, it is also important to understand why consumers dislike brands, or even develop hatred towards them. As a prevalent phenomenon, brand hate could lead to several repercussions for the brand, such as negative word of mouth, brand avoidance, negative brand image, and so on. This can tarnish the image of the brand and, hence, create a possibility of losing a big chunk of market in spite of having very good products/services. The study of brand hate and its measurement scale is therefore of stark importance in marketing.

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