There are brands that have literally created a world of their own, that have managed to create a special relationship with their consumers – one of need, addiction, adoration and, sometimes, actual love. The marketing world, however, is a difficult one and consumers are not always easy inhabitants to satisfy.
In Brand Hate, published in the «Journal of Product & Brand Management», Simona Romani – with Lia Zarantonello, Silvia Grappi and Richard P. Bagozzi – outlines the features, origins and development of brand hate, exploring the phenomenon from a dynamic and evolutionary point of view.
To do this, the group of researchers conducted two quantitative studies that first examined the development of brand hate and its effects on the behaviors of certain European consumers. The second part of the study focused on the relationship between the behaviors adopted and the motivation behind brand hate. This varied from consumers not backing the company’s behaviors to their expectations not being met.
The research showed that this phenomenon is a constellation of negative emotions that produce a number of related behaviors of varying magnitudes – from moderately passive complaints, to creating bad publicity, to more “active” forms of protest through reducing or ending all dealings with the brand.
This study, besides giving a first conceptualization of “brand hate”, lays out a variety of circumstances that allows the phenomenon to be measured in relation to specific behaviors in different types of standard situations. In this light, the study can be seen as an important and concrete set of tools for companies that want to prevent or combat similar situations for their brands.