Effects of brand feedback to negative eWOM on brand love/hate: an expectancy violation approach

Jing Yang, Juan Mundel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to explore the role of consumers’ expectation violation in brands’ negative eWOM management on social media. The effects of brand feedback strategies (i.e. compensation and causal attribution) and brand type (i.e. full-service vs low-cost) in consumers’ expectation violations and the impact of such violations on consumers’ satisfaction and responses to a brand (i.e. brand love and brand hate) were examined. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a 2 (causal attribution: external/brand) × 2 (compensation: present/absent) × 2 (brand type: low cost vs full service) × 2 (industry: airline and hotel) between-subjects experimental design. Findings: Results indicated that the presence (vs absence) of compensation can result in positive consumer expectation violations, which can lead to consumer satisfaction and brand love. Alternately, the absence of compensation can result in negative consumer expectation violations, which can lead to consumers dissatisfaction and brand hate. Moreover, brand type (i.e. full-service vs low-cost) significantly interacted with the presence of compensation in influencing consumers’ responses. The attribution of the cause did not significantly influence consumers’ responses. Practical implications: This study highlights the importance of knowing consumers’ expectations when responding to negative eWOM on social media. Offering compensation is an effective strategy for restoring consumer satisfaction. Specifically, for low-cost brands, offering compensation can lead to even more favorable responses. Originality/value: This study pioneers in exploring the roles of different brand feedback strategies and brand type in influencing consumers’ responses to brands’ handling of negative eWOM. This study revealed the underlying mechanism through the theoretical lens of expectancy violation and examined the impact of expectation violations on consumer satisfaction and brand love and brand hate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Product and Brand Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brand communication
  • Brand hate
  • Brand love
  • Expectation violation
  • Expectation violation theory
  • Negative eWOM
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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