Very little research addresses whether the values that consumers bring to a situation can affect their reactions to a brand failure. This paper suggests the interesting…
Very little research addresses whether the values that consumers bring to a situation can affect their reactions to a brand failure. This paper suggests the interesting possibility that consumers may react very differently to the same brand failure depending upon their values. Here, the authors introduce a new construct to the marketing literature – honor values – and demonstrate its effect on responses to brand failures.
Three experiments and one secondary data study were utilized.
Across four studies, honor values are shown to aggravate consumers’ desire for vengeance following a brand failure. That is, as honor values increase, so too does desire for vengeance in the face of a brand failure. Additionally, this desire can be attenuated by allowing the consumer to play a role in resolving the failure or by giving a heartfelt apology.
High-honor consumers are a major obstacle for firms facing a brand failure. To overcome this challenge, the authors offer strategies, including (1) allowing high-honor consumers to suggest ways to punish the offending employee, and (2) offering simple, heartfelt apologies to high-honor consumers, which are as effective as monetary compensations.