|Keywords:||Consumer attitudes; Brand loyalty; Negative publicity; Response strategies; Social Sciences; Economics and Business; Business Administration; Samhällsvetenskap; Ekonomi och näringsliv; Företagsekonomi; Marknadsföring, magisterprogram, 60 hp; Marketing, Master Programme, 60 credits; Företagsekonomi - Marknadsföring; Business Administration - Marketing|
|Full text PDF:||http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-35082|
<strong>Purpose: </strong>The purpose of the study was to assess whether the extent to which consumers’ brand attitudes change when the consumers are exposed to negative publicity of the brand, and when exposed to a company’s response to negative publicity, differ depending on the consumers’ degree of brand loyalty and depending on how positive the consumers’ initial brand attitudes are. <strong>Design/methodology/approach</strong>: The study had a deductive research approach with a single cross-sectional descriptive and exploratory design. Archival analysis was used to collect relevant theories and to conduct the preparatory data collection through data mining, both in which secondary data was gathered. Survey was used when collecting qualitative primary data in the preparatory data collection through focus groups, and when collecting primary data in the main data collection through a questionnaire. The main data was further analyzed through a one-way ANOVA within a non-parametric Levene’s test. <strong>Findings: </strong>The extent to which consumers’ brand attitudes changed when consumers were exposed to negative publicity of the brand differed depending on if the consumers’ initial brand attitudes were positive or negative. Consumers with negative brand attitudes had a smaller attitude change compared to consumers with positive brand attitudes, opposed to what was assumed in the current study. The extent to which consumers’ brand attitudes changed when consumers were exposed to negative publicity of the brand did not statistically differ depending on the consumers’ degree of brand loyalty. Neither did the extent to which consumers’ brand attitudes changed when the consumers were exposed to a company’s response to negative publicity differ depending on how positive the consumers’ brand attitudes were, nor on the consumers’ degree of loyalty toward the brand. <strong>Research limitations/suggestions for future research: </strong>The information concerning the negative event and the company’s response strategy was very concentrated in the questionnaire. In real life, consumers would have had different perceptions of both the event and the response since some parts require consumers to actively search for information. Hence, suggestion for future research is to measure the attitude changes where the consumers have gained information in a natural course. <strong>Implications: </strong>The new perspective brought forth through the study could be useful for brand managers to bear in mind when setting up strategies on how to manage a negative publicity situation such as the Apple/Foxconn case.