CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS WITH RUTHLESS BRANDS

John Power, Susan Whelan, Gary Davies

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    The marketing and reputation literature has failed to investigate how brands with negative associations can build trusting relationships with consumers. Research into the measurement of product brand image is unbalanced and has focused on using only positive traits (Aaker, 1999; Batra et al. 1993; Bellenger et al., 1976), as the belief was that a brand could have significant brand equity when consumers held a favourable impression of the brand (Keller, 1993). However, it has been argued that corporate brands that have negative images or associations are not necessarily destined to receive negative responses (Brown and Dacin, 1997). Hence, in the current study the authors attempt to explain consumer relationships with brands that are perceived to be controlling, totalitarian, dominant, and selfish; collectively known as brands with ruthless characters (Davies et al., 2004). A theoretically driven model is explored and tested using structural equation modelling on survey data (N=600) for four corporate brands (Ryanair, Microsoft, Virgin and The Sun Newspaper) and the visible leaders of the four companies (Michael O’Leary, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch). These brands were the most frequently quoted brands in preliminary qualitative work conducted to identify brands with ruthless characters. The model explores consumer trust in the corporate brand and the overall attractiveness of the brand (Aaker et al. 2004). A structural model is presented with above adequate model fit along with empirical findings. Managerial implications and a future research agenda are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    Event2nd Annual Colloquium of the Academy of Marketing’s Brand and Corporate Reputation SIG - Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 01 Jan 2006 → …

    Conference

    Conference2nd Annual Colloquium of the Academy of Marketing’s Brand and Corporate Reputation SIG
    CityManchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Period01/01/2006 → …

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