Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake

Maxwell Winchester (Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, and Harper Adams University College, Edgmond, UK)
Jenni Romaniuk (Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Svetlana Bogomolova (Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 30 May 2008



The paper seeks to conduct an exploratory study into how positive and negative brand belief levels differ before, and change after, consumers defect from a brand or take up a new brand.


Two longitudinal studies in banking and insurance were used. These included repeat interviews with the same consumers. Brand buying behaviour and positive and negative brand beliefs were measured and then compared across those who defected from a brand and those who took up a new brand.


Prior to defection, differences in both positive and negative perceptions were apparent in those who subsequently defected. There was also evidence of a readjustment after defection to match the new user status. There was evidence that this readjustment did not just occur in the behaviour change period, but continued to occur afterwards, with differences over time much greater for the longer time frame interview than evident for the shorter time frame. Negative beliefs were more discriminating when the defection was customer‐initiated rather than during a renewal process. New brand users displayed a higher propensity to give positive beliefs prior to taking up the brand compared to non‐users who did not take up the brand. These changes further continued post‐switching as new users adjusted to their new status.


This research contributes to the understanding of the brand belief‐behaviour relationship using two very different longitudinal studies. It also investigates negative brand beliefs, which are rarely researched, and compares the effects of negative beliefs with that of positive beliefs.



Winchester, M., Romaniuk, J. and Bogomolova, S. (2008), "Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 5/6, pp. 553-570. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560810862507

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