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Exploring positively- versus negatively-valenced brand engagement: a conceptual model

Linda D. Hollebeek (Department of Marketing, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Tom Chen (Department of Marketing, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 11 March 2014




After gaining traction in business practice the “brand engagement” (BE) concept has transpired in the academic marketing/branding literature. BE has been defined as the level of a consumer's “cognitive, emotional and behavioral investment in specific brand interactions”. Although pioneering research provides exploratory insights, the majority of literature to-date addresses consumers' specific positively-valenced BE; thus largely overlooking potential negatively-valenced manifestations of this emerging concept and their ensuing implications. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel BE conceptualization that extends to cover focal negatively-valenced, in addition to positively-valenced BE expressions, thus providing a more comprehensive theoretical model of BE. Specifically, while positively-valenced BE addresses consumers' favorable/affirmative cognitive, emotional and behavioral brand-related dynamics during focal brand interactions (e.g. brand-usage); negatively-valenced BE, by contrast, is exhibited through consumers' unfavorable brand-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors during brand interactions.


Drawing on netnographic methodology, the authors develop a conceptual model addressing the key characteristics of consumers' positively-/negatively-valenced BE, and derive a set of key BE triggers and consequences.


Based on their analyses the authors develop a conceptual model, which addresses consumers' positively/negatively valenced BE, and key antecedents and consequences.

Research limitations/implications

Future research is required, which tests and validates the proposed model for specific categories and brands using large-scale, quantitative analyses.

Practical implications

Generating enhanced managerial understanding of positively/negatively valenced BE, this research contributes to guiding managerial decision making regarding the management of specific brands.


By proposing a conceptual model incorporating positively-/negatively-valenced BE, this paper extends current insights in the branding/marketing literatures, thus contributing to managers and scholars.



D. Hollebeek, L. and Chen, T. (2014), "Exploring positively- versus negatively-valenced brand engagement: a conceptual model", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 62-74.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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