Positive and negative behaviours resulting from brand attachment: The moderating effects of attachment styles

Lyndon Simkin, Arnold Japutra, Yuksel Ekinci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)
    392 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract


    Purpose
    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.

    Design/methodology/approach
    The study is based on a survey of 432 respondents, and the data are analysed using the structural equation modelling approach.

    Findings
    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.

    Practical implications
    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.

    Originality/value
    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1185-1202
    Number of pages17
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Volume52
    Issue number5/6
    Early online date23 Feb 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018

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