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This book focuses on the concept of “brand hate” and consumer negativity in today’s digital markets. It explores the emotional detachment consumers generate against valued brands and how negative experiences affect their and other consumers' loyalty. In today's world, it is almost impossible not to run into hateful language about companies and their brands in digital consumption spaces. Consumer hostility and hate is not hidden and silent but is now openly shared on many online anti-brand websites, consumer social networking sites, and complaint and review boards as a result of the Internet's democratic architecture.
The book defines consumer brand hate and discusses its dimensions, antecedents, and consequences as well as the semiotics and legality of such brand hate activities based on current brand dilution arguments. It describes the situations which lead to anti-branding and how consumers choose to express their dissatisfaction with a company on individual and social levels. Finally, it provides strategic perspectives on how to handle such situations to achieve better functioning markets for scholars and practitioners in marketing, psychology, and consumer behavior.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. What Is Hate?

Abstract
Chapter 1 explains hate in light of the available psychology literature. It defines general human feelings of hate and gives examples of two important components: ‘threatened egotism’ and ‘perceived injustice’. The author focuses on threatened egotism and perceived injustice as the major root-causes of feelings of hate and anger. He uses Sternberg’s hate classification in order to define the various dimensions of hate, from low level to high level (or alternatively severe hate) in terms of Sternberg’s triangular hate model. After this chapter, readers should have a basic understanding of the concept of hate and its dimensions.
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 2. What Is Brand Hate?

Abstract
In this chapter, the concept of brand hate is defined in light of the general psychology of hate as discussed in the previous chapter. The components of brand hate are conceptualized as cold, cool and hot vis-à-vis consumer psychology and behavior literature. Types of consumer brand hate and potential hate interactions among various consumer behaviors are discussed. The conceptual link between brand hate and anti-branding is developed. Furthermore, various forms of brand hate emotions from different social contexts are introduced, such as “brand bullying”. This chapter provides a broader conceptual context for the concept of brand hate, its components and its degrees ( defined as severity of brand hate).
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 3. Antecedents of Brand Hate

Abstract
This chapter discusses major brand hate antecedents in two strands: company-related antecedents and consumer-related antecedents. Company-related antecedents are discussed as “product and service failures” and “corporate social irresponsibility”. Furthermore, there is discussion of potential interactions among company-related antecedents, as some companies can both provide dysfunctional products and services and can be socially irresponsible. These potential antecedents are discussed in light of the current literature. With regard to consumer-related antecedents, there is a focus on consumer personality traits that might function as major antecedents, such as the case of narcissistic individuals. Narcissism and entitlement are interchangeable as major consumer brand hate indicators in this chapter.
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 4. Consequences of Brand Hate

Abstract
This chapter discusses the consequences of brand hate. It looks at potential consumer responses in light of consumer complaints, negative word-of-mouth (WOM) and consumer boycotting literatures. The chapter provides classifications for potential consumer responses at both attitudinal and behavioral levels. Potential brand damage and anti-branding and brand hate reflections and their impact on individual and social level consumer behaviors are investigated.
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 5. Semiotics of Brand Hate

Abstract
This chapter discusses the semiotics of many anti-branding images created by brand haters. Anti-branding semiotics are strong reflections of consumer brand hate. In this chapter, the tacit semiotic rules used by brand haters are revealed. It provides a broad theoretical discussion about the semiotic characteristics of branding and consumer-generated anti-branding as well as digital anti-branding discourse. The chapter then investigates consumer anti-branding semiotics by examining a sample of anti-branding images targeted at valuable corporate brands. It seems brand haters usually prefer red and black colors (“fire and brimstone” a color codification of hell according to religious references), rebranding corporate brand names and slogans by embedding negative words and signs, thus creating a negative representation of those brands. In the interviews with consumers their ways of decoding such brand hate semiotics were discussed. These discussions indicated that anti-branding semiotic representations using dark humor and clear messages can create the most impact on consumers, while an aggressive but intriguing message has some potential to influence consumers.
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 6. Legality of Brand Hate

Abstract
The legality of anti-branding images and semiotics is discussed in this chapter, with reference to various legal cases. Various anti-branding dilution cases are introduced and discussed, and brand dilution is reconceptualized as a matter of counterposed brand meaning and its associations in digital markets. Anti-branding dilution cases are examined on both a blurring and a tarnishment dilution basis. The interviews with consumers are discussed, which revealed that anti-branding has less potential for brand dilution, and more potential for brand identity collusion. By addressing both legal and marketing views of the meaning systems associated with the dilution versus collusion perspectives, this study provides an approach for understanding anti-branding dilution discussions and a way to develop better functioning branding exchange systems for digital markets. Consequently, possible changes in future branding ownership issues for digital markets are also envisioned in this chapter.
S. Umit Kucuk

Chapter 7. Managing Brand Hate

Abstract
This chapter proposes ideas for how to detect brand hate, engage in brand hate speech and negotiate with brand haters and anti-branders in order to find solutions and achieve market peace. The brand hate management process is discussed three distinct steps: (1) Listen, (2) Engage and (3) Negotiate. We also examine a specific decision algorithm for use when dealing with brand haters, which takes account of the origin of hate (either company-related or consumer-related brand hate). Thus, this final chapter introduces some ideas for how to build better and healthier functioning market communications and relationships for the benefit of all.
S. Umit Kucuk

Backmatter

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