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What is rogue marketing? An exploration of how hard seltzer sparked a social media phenomenon

Cortney L. Norris (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Texas, USA)
D. Christopher Taylor (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Texas, USA)
Scott Taylor Jr. (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 8 November 2021

Issue publication date: 5 July 2022

1354

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to introduce, explicate, offer a framework and provide future research directions for a phenomenon herein named rogue marketing. Rogue marketing is explored vis-à-vis a phenomenon that occurred over the summer of 2019 with a new product category, hard seltzers. It is proposed that rogue marketing occurs when an unaffiliated individual creates and posts an informal message about a brand on social media that becomes viral. Although the post is not funded or endorsed by the company that owns the brand, reaching viral status results in free and unexpected advertising (positive or negative).

Design/methodology/approach

Rogue marketing is first explored through a comparative analysis with company produced advertisements. Then, the company’s response to rogue marketing is gauged through both qualitative and quantitative data. The sample of 210 respondents was recruited from students enrolled in college hospitality courses and through posts made on social media.

Findings

Rogue marketing is found to be somewhat more compelling than company produced advertisements and those who found the rogue marketing message more compelling had stronger sentiments regarding the company’s response.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory study of rogue marketing provides a conceptualization and starting framework for future research concerning this phenomenon.

Originality/value

Rogue marketing is a new phenomenon and is distinct from influencer marketing and viral marketing in its characteristics. Additionally, the company’s response to rogue marketing messages may influence behavioral outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Norris, C.L., Taylor, D.C. and Taylor Jr., S. (2022), "What is rogue marketing? An exploration of how hard seltzer sparked a social media phenomenon", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 329-348. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWBR-02-2021-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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