The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into brand avoidance of service brands and explore whether the different types of brand avoidance identified in a product context apply to service providers.
Because of the exploratory nature of the study, the critical incident method and semi-structured interviews were used to achieve the purpose of the study.
The findings suggest that five types of brand avoidance, as identified in studies involving product brands, can be identified as impacting service brands. In addition, the findings show that advertising avoidance should be expanded to communication avoidance because of the multifarious communication influences that were identified. The study proposes a framework to deepen the understanding of the types of brand avoidance affecting service brands.
Since the different types of brand avoidance previously identified are also evident in a services environment, service providers should develop strategies to deal with the different types of service brand avoidance. The findings are broad in scope because of the exploratory nature of the study, and a detailed analysis of each type of service brand avoidance is still required.
This paper focuses on the various types of brand avoidance and their manifestation in the services context. The study contributes by showing that the broader concept of communication, not only advertising, should be considered when studying brand avoidance in a service context.
Research funding: This work is based on the research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Numbers: 104662 and 109341).
Disclaimer: Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in this material is that of the authors and the National Research Foundation of South Africa does not accept any liability in this regard.
The authors would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Anna Östlundh, Ludvig Löfgren and Merveille Kalubi Nsabue with respect to data collection.
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