Brand avoidance: underlying protocols and a practical scale

Publication Date19 Aug 2019
AuthorRaphael Odoom,John Paul Kosiba,Christian Tetteh Djamgbah,Linda Narh
Brand avoidance: underlying protocols and
a practical scale
Raphael Odoom
Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Business School, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
John Paul Kosiba
Department of Marketing, University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana
Christian Tetteh Djamgbah
Department of Marketing and Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and
Linda Narh
Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Business School, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Purpose The increased practitioner and academic interest in negative brand phenomena highlight the need for the development of practical scales
to be used for empirical investigations. Therefore, this paper aims to draw on existing conceptualisations to provide a theoretically gro unded yet
practically oriented scale for examining brand avoidance and its protocols.
Design/methodology/approach The study uses a sample of 575 consumers from two developing countries to create a parsimonious brand
avoidance scale. Partial least squares structural equation modelling is used to analyse the data through a systematic formative measurement
Findings This paper nds brand avoidance to be a multidimensional, second-order construct with ve rst-order dimensions: moral avoidance,
identity avoidance, decitvalue avoidance, experiential avoidance and advertising-related avoidance. The paper further validates thi s scale by
testing with non-purchase intention and identies its positive relationship with brand avoidance.
Originality/value This study fulls the calls in the literature to provide a measurable scale for studying negative brand phenomena in consumer
brand relationship research.
Keywords Brand avoidance, Scale development, Anti-branding, Brand relationships
Paper type Research paper
A widely held belief in the branding literature suggests that
several intrinsic and extrinsic equities about brands trigger
consumerspatronage. Thesefactors may stem from either the
innate characteristics of consumers and brands or those
connected to external stimuli, ideally resulting in favourable
outcomes such as brand preference and choice (Narteh et al.,
2012), love (Carroll and Ahuvia, 2006) and loyalty (Odoom,
2016). However, the branding literature has relatively under-
recognised, as well as under-researched, the other extremes of
these outcomes that can emanate from consumerbrand
interactions such as brand apathy,rejection, hate, opposition
and avoidance (Cromie and Ewing, 2009;Kucuk, 2008;
Fournier and Alvarez, 2013;Romani etal.,2015;Wolter et al.,
For instance, Samsung recently faced avoidance issues
among a large section of its consumers owing to reports of
device explosions. This resulted in the brands Galaxy Note 7
model being avoided bya section of consumers andeven facing
bans on some airlines (US Department of Transportation,
2016). Similarly, avoidance is being promoted against some
cosmetics and food brands because of their compositions and
based on presumptions that theyeither engage in animal testing
themselves through a third party, as required by law, or use
ingredients tested on animals (Logical Harmony, 2018).
However, to the best of our knowledge, the branding literature
seems to lack clearlyestablished and comprehensively validated
measures for studying adverse brand reactions. In the wake of
rm/product issues causing some brands to be avoided, it has
become imperative that a clearlydened scale be developed for
evaluating instances of brand avoidance in both academic and
practitioner communities. This is mostly because consumer
brand relationships rest on a continuum, with one end
representing positive node elements and the other, negative
node elements.
While a plethora of research seems to gravitate towards the
positive nodes on this outcome continuum, the negative ones
have been explored in fuzzy ways, often with inconclusive and
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on
Emerald Insight at:
Journal of Product & Brand Management
28/5 (2019) 586597
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 1061-0421]
[DOI 10.1108/JPBM-03-2018-1777]
Received 7 March 2018
Revised 22 July 2018
26 September 2018
Accepted 11 November 2018

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