The dark side of brand attachment: A conceptual framework of brand attachment's detrimental outcomes

A. Japutra, Y. Ekinci, Lyndon Simkin, B. Nguyen

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    Brand attachment recently has received great attention among practitioners and academics alike. Scholars consider brand attachment a key requisite in consumer-brand relationships that create favourable consumer behaviours such as positive brand attitudes and brand loyalty. Few studies, however, examine the detrimental outcomes of brand attachment. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework that explores how brand attachment may explain detrimental consumer behaviours, such as oppositional brand loyalty and antibrand actions. We investigate consumers' trash-talking and schadenfreude in brand communities and their subsequent outcomes. Our framework reveals that the link between brand attachment and oppositional brand loyalty is driven by consumers' social identity and sense of rivalry. Furthermore, we put forward that brand attachment leads to anti-brand actions when relationships deteriorate. We identify two factors behind the deterioration: (1) companies' opportunism activities, and (2) incongruity between consumers' values and the brand's values. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed arising from our emerging 'dark side' brand attachment framework.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-264
    JournalThe Marketing Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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