The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between brand attachment and consumers’ positive and negative behaviours. Furthermore, this study examines the moderating effects of attachment styles on these relationships.
The study is based on a survey of 432 respondents, and the data are analysed using the structural equation modelling approach.
This study empirically supports that brand attachment and attachment styles (i.e. anxiety attachment and avoidance attachment) are distinct. Brand attachment influences consumers’ not only positive behaviour (i.e. brand loyalty) but also negative behaviours, such as trash-talking, schadenfreude and anti-brand actions. The findings of the study suggest that only avoidance attachment style moderates the relationships between brand attachment and these consumer behaviours. The link between brand attachment and brand loyalty is attenuated for high-attachment-avoidance consumers. In contrast, the links between brand attachment and trash-talking, schadenfreude and anti-brand actions are strengthened.
This study assists marketing managers in understanding that a strong brand attachment may result in negative behaviours that can harm a company’s brand image. Thus, building a strong relationship with consumers will not always be beneficial. Companies should be aware of the consequences of building relationships with consumers who have a high level of attachment anxiety and/or avoidance.
This paper highlights that brand attachment not only influences brand loyalty behaviour but also three negative behaviours: trash-talking, schadenfreude and anti-brand actions. Moreover, the links between brand attachment and negative behaviours are strengthened when consumers have a high level of attachment avoidance.