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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 February 2023

Clemens Hutzinger and Wolfgang J. Weitzl

The purpose of this research is the exploration of online complainants' revenge based on their consumer-brand relationship strength and received webcare. The authors introduce…

1378

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is the exploration of online complainants' revenge based on their consumer-brand relationship strength and received webcare. The authors introduce inter-failures (i.e. the perceived number of earlier independent service failures that a customer has experienced with the same brand involved in the current service failure) as the central frame condition.

Design/methodology/approach

To test our hypotheses, both a scenario-based online experiment (n = 316) and an online survey (n = 492) were conducted.

Findings

With an increasing number of inter-failures, online complainants with a high-relationship strength move from the “love is blind” effect (no inter-failures) to the “love becomes hate” effect (multiple inter-failures), when they ultimately become more revengeful than their low-relationship strength counterparts. In addition, the authors show that in the case of no or few inter-failures, accommodative webcare has a lasting positive effect over no/defensive webcare for both low- and high-relationship complainants. More importantly, however, when consumers have experienced multiple inter-failures, accommodative webcare becomes ineffective (for low-relationship complainants) or boomerangs by cultivating revenge towards the brand (among high-relationship complainants), but not strategic avoidance.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have pronounced implications for the literature on customer–brand relationships following service failures and the literature, which predominantly emphasizes the unconditionally positive effects of accommodative webcare.

Originality/value

This study is the first that simultaneously considers the prior customer–brand relationship, inter-failures and webcare to explain online complainants' revenge.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 19 May 2023

Wolfgang J. Weitzl, Clemens Hutzinger and Udo Wagner

The study of shame has a long tradition in intra- and inter-personal psychology. This paper aims to investigate whether consumers can experience brand shame after self-relevant…

4251

Abstract

Purpose

The study of shame has a long tradition in intra- and inter-personal psychology. This paper aims to investigate whether consumers can experience brand shame after self-relevant consumption incidents. Specifically, this research proposes that consumers follow a complex shame-inducing process in the aftermath of unpleasant experiences involving their favorite brand. The moderating role of relational tie strength between consumers and their favorite brand existing prior to symbolic failures is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A scenario-based, online survey (n = 660) among consumers who have recently experienced a self-relevant failure with their favorite brand was conducted. Confirmatory factor analysis ensured the reliability and validity of the measurement model. For testing the conceptual model, data was analyzed by means of a moderated mediation analysis. The proposed model was tested against, among others, common method bias and alternative models. The findings were cross-validated with a scenario-based online experiment (n = 1,616).

Findings

Results show that brand shame is a key mediator between customer dissatisfaction and brand anger when self-relevant, symbolic failures happen. Moreover, strong consumer-brand identification triggers brand-detrimental effects. It is shown to influence the connection between consumers’ inward- (i.e. brand shame) and resulting outward-directed (i.e. brand anger) negative emotions on brands, which lead to consumer vengeance.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is the first to introduce the concept of situational brand shame to the literature on favorite brands. Furthermore, it shows that consumer-brand identification moderates the direct and indirect (via brand shame) unfavorable effects of failure-induced dissatisfaction on brand anger. This research adds insights to the investigation of the “love-becomes-hate” effect arising after self-relevant failures involving consumers’ most preferred brand.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Wolfgang J. Weitzl

This paper aims to demonstrate that online complainants’ reactions to a company’s service recovery attempts (webcare) can significantly vary across two different types of…

2973

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate that online complainants’ reactions to a company’s service recovery attempts (webcare) can significantly vary across two different types of dissatisfied customers (“vindictives” vs “constructives”), who have dramatically diverging complaint goal orientations.

Design/methodology/approach

Online multi-country survey among 812 adult consumers who recently had a dissatisfying brand experience and turned to a marketer-generated social media site to voice an online complaint for achieving their ultimate complaining goals. Scenario-based online experiment for cross-validating the survey findings.

Findings

Results suggest that “vindictive complainants” – driven dominantly by brand-adverse motives – are immune to any form of webcare, while “constructive complainants” – interested in restoring the customer-brand relationship – react more sensitively. For the latter, “no-responses” often trigger detrimental brand-related reactions (e.g. unfavorable brand image), whereas “defensive responses” are likely to stimulate post-webcare negative word-of-mouth.

Research limitations/implications

This research identifies the gains and harms of (un-)desired webcare. By doing so, it not only sheds light on the circumstances when marketers have to fear negative effects (e.g. negative word-of-mouth) but also provides insights into the conditions when such effects are unlikely. While the findings of the cross-sectional survey are validated with an online experiment, findings should be interpreted with care as other complaining contexts should be further investigated.

Practical implications

Marketers have to expect a serious “backfiring effect” from an unexpected source, namely, consumers who were initially benevolent toward the involved brand but who received an inappropriate response.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first research studies that enables marketers to identify situations when webcare is likely to backfire on the brand after a service failure.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Jens Seiffert-Brockmann, Wolfgang Weitzl and Magdalena Henriks

The purpose of this paper is to research the role of stakeholder motivation in the context of gamification. The authors suggest, that a player’s motivation, is a key determinant…

2174

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to research the role of stakeholder motivation in the context of gamification. The authors suggest, that a player’s motivation, is a key determinant of psychological engagement and subsequently, behavioral engagement. To examine stakeholder engagement through gamification, the authors propose a research model that links gamer types, i.e. a gamer’s motivation, with engagement and potential effects beyond the gamified content.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey with 90 active users of a gamified application, followed by a multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that a gamer’s typology, i.e. her underlying motivation, positively influences psychological stakeholder engagement toward gamified content and indirectly behavioral stakeholder engagement toward the communication instrument (i.e. the app) itself. The findings suggest that particularly gamified content that targets a person’s need toward achievement is a key driver of behavioral engagement toward an application. Thus, gamer types seem to be a good predictor for engagement on the part of stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides first empirical evidence about the effectiveness of gamification of mobile service apps and the critical role of stakeholder engagement. However, several limitations have to be noted: first, the study was conducted with only a single mobile app which targets only a specific audience and which only conveys specific types of gamified content. Second, given the small sample size and sampling approach the findings should be interpreted with care in respect to its reliability, validity and robustness. Third, as only a fraction of the variance of behavioral engagement was explained by the research, future studies should investigate additional variables that drive app usage (e.g. perceived informational value).

Practical implications

When talking about the role of dialogue in the process of establishing good and lasting relations between an organization and its stakeholders, the non-rational (e.g. emotions) forces of engagement are often disregarded. The human drive to play can be a powerful door opener in that process. The paper suggests that engaging in stakeholder relations through gamification might be as effective as the standard way of dialogue and two-way-symmetrical communication. Especially potential stakeholders who lack the interest and motivation for information seeking, can be attracted to the organization in such a manner.

Social implications

Many studies that focus on engagement in the digital realm look to Twitter, Facebook, etc. in order to study company-stakeholder relationships. Thereby, the importance of many other digital media, especially games, is neglected. However, within gamified apps, small social networks form, which are driven by other forces (such as play), than in the aforementioned.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to research in the area of stakeholder engagement in the following way: even though engagement is widely believed to play a vital role in the process of building stakeholder relationships, research in the field of PR focuses mainly on the behavioral aspect of engagement. The results suggest to pay more attention to psychological antecedents in order to understand what drives engagement.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 April 2022

Robert Zimmermann, Daniel Mora, Douglas Cirqueira, Markus Helfert, Marija Bezbradica, Dirk Werth, Wolfgang Jonas Weitzl, René Riedl and Andreas Auinger

The transition to omnichannel retail is the recognized future of retail, which uses digital technologies (e.g. augmented reality shopping assistants) to enhance the customer…

10461

Abstract

Purpose

The transition to omnichannel retail is the recognized future of retail, which uses digital technologies (e.g. augmented reality shopping assistants) to enhance the customer shopping experience. However, retailers struggle with the implementation of such technologies in brick-and-mortar stores. Against this background, the present study investigates the impact of a smartphone-based augmented reality shopping assistant application, which uses personalized recommendations and explainable artificial intelligence features on customer shopping experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors follow a design science research approach to develop a shopping assistant application artifact, evaluated by means of an online experiment (n = 252), providing both qualitative and quantitative data.

Findings

Results indicate a positive impact of the augmented reality shopping assistant application on customers' perception of brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. Based on the empirical insights this study also identifies possible improvements of the artifact.

Research limitations/implications

This study's assessment is limited to an online evaluation approach. Therefore, future studies should test actual usage of the technology in brick-and-mortar stores. Contrary to the suggestions of established theories (i.e. technology acceptance model, uses and gratification theory), this study shows that an increase of shopping experience does not always convert into an increase in the intention to purchase or to visit a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, this study provides novel design principles and ideas for crafting augmented reality shopping assistant applications that can be used by future researchers to create advanced versions of such applications.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates that a shopping assistant artifact provides a good opportunity to enhance users' shopping experience on their path-to-purchase, as it can support customers by providing rich information (e.g. explainable recommendations) for decision-making along the customer shopping journey.

Originality/value

This paper shows that smartphone-based augmented reality shopping assistant applications have the potential to increase the competitive power of brick-and-mortar retailers.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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