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The role of crisis typology and cultural belongingness in shaping consumers’ negative responses towards a faulty brand

Ilaria Baghi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy)
Veronica Gabrielli (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research on brand crisis has introduced the difference between a values-related crisis and a performance-related crisis. However, little remains known regarding consumers’ varying negative responses towards these two different types of brand misconduct. This paper aims to investigate and compare consumers’ affective and behavioural negative reactions (i.e. negative word of mouth and purchase intention) towards a faulty brand during a values-related crisis and a performance-related crisis by testing the mediation of negative emotions and introducing the moderating role of cultural belongingness (collectivistic vs individualistic).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors tested a model of moderated mediation in a cross-cultural investigation on a sample of 229 Italian and Asian consumers. The study is a 2 (cultures: collectivistic vs individualistic) × 2 (crisis: performance-related vs values-related) between-subjects experimental design. The moderated mediation model shows that consumers’ negative reactions (negative word of mouth and negative purchase intention) towards a faulty brand involved in different crisis typologies is explained by the mediating role of negative emotions, and that this mediation depends on a consumer’s cultural belongingness.

Findings

The results suggest that consumers belonging to a collectivistic culture (e.g. Asian culture) tend to react in a more severe and strict manner when faced with a values-related brand crisis event then when faced with a performance-related crisis. The arousal of negative emotion towards a brand represents the mediating variable in behavioural responses (i.e. negative word of mouth and purchase intention).

Originality/value

The present study extends current knowledge in the field of consumers’ negative response to brand irresponsibility behaviours while introducing the role of crisis typology and cultural belongingness. In particular, individualistic people are more sensitive to a values-related crisis in comparison with a performance-related one. The findings of this study have strong managerial implications for defining effective response strategies to negative events involving brands in different markets.

Keywords

Citation

Baghi, I. and Gabrielli, V. (2019), "The role of crisis typology and cultural belongingness in shaping consumers’ negative responses towards a faulty brand", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 653-670. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-03-2018-1806

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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