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Negative electronic Word of Mouth & Customer Based Brand Equity: A Qualitative View of the Apple iPhone Aversion on Facebook

Lapel, Claudia; Ellez, Oylum and Anarbekov, Erbol (2011)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
The emergent Social Media presents risks and opportunities for the brand that academic research still needs to reach further understanding (MSI, 2010). From both theoretical and managerial points of view, research is needed in regards to consumer created negative brand meanings in social media settings. Further, consumers have now the ability to share negative brand product evaluations at a massive scale through the practice of electronic word-of mouth, eWOM (Jansen et al., 2009) which is especially threatening to the corporate brand value because its perceived value lays in the minds of its consumers. Moreover, negative eWOM is a form of media content and to consumers; it has a higher degree of credibility than corporate communications.... (More)
The emergent Social Media presents risks and opportunities for the brand that academic research still needs to reach further understanding (MSI, 2010). From both theoretical and managerial points of view, research is needed in regards to consumer created negative brand meanings in social media settings. Further, consumers have now the ability to share negative brand product evaluations at a massive scale through the practice of electronic word-of mouth, eWOM (Jansen et al., 2009) which is especially threatening to the corporate brand value because its perceived value lays in the minds of its consumers. Moreover, negative eWOM is a form of media content and to consumers; it has a higher degree of credibility than corporate communications. Hence, it is of pivotal importance for corporations to have knowledge of the contents of consumer created negative brand meanings in Social Networks, in order to be aware of the negative brand image created by consumers in the online environment. Ultimately, knowledge of the contents of consumer created negative eWOM will enable corporations to identify weaknesses in the corporate brand image, while learning the motives of consumer rejection or dissatisfaction with the brand. Accordingly, the following study aim is to describe brand and product related consumer created negative content in social media settings, specifically negative e-WOM, in order to monitor customer based brand equity by identifying motives of dissatisfaction or rejection articulated by consumers through media content in Social Networks. Further, the purpose of the study is to describe the relationship between negative e-WOM related to a product and the parent brand Corporate Brand Equity in order to monitor and identify areas of weakness in the corporate image, which in turn, will aid marketers in the design of new strategies directed to sustain brand equity in the virtual environment. The theoretical perspective of this study considers Strategic Brand Management and consumer Behaviour theories points of view. The study will follow a case study research design and Grounded Theory analysis methods. The choice of research design was made taking into consideration the dimensions of the research process including the understanding of the particular behaviour in its specific social context, its sequential nature as social phenomena and interconnections amongst theory and data. Moreover, the case study will analyse instances of consumer created negative eWOM related to the Apple iPhone on the page ‘We hate Iphone!!” of social network Facebook.
Conclusion: The analysis shows Anti-branding sentiment triggered by consumer disapproval of corporate irresponsible business practices as a latent threat to corporate image. Consequently, it is recommended that Apple marketing communications send a clear message in regards to Corporate Responsibility (CSR) issues. In addition, corporate management needs to continue working towards a solution to the irresponsible business practices in its supply chain as a prerequisite to include CSR as part of their corporate image. Hence, Apple, as a corporation must ensure that its supply chain is aligned to CSR values. Otherwise, the company risks to be perceived as inauthentic, and it can backfire and cause an increase of consumer anti-branding activity (Smith et. al, 2010). Moreover, market speech anti-branding content is particularly damaging to the Corporate Brand since it has a direct impact on the corporate brand value (Krishnamurthy & Kucuk, 2009). Therefore, it is recommended that Apple implements further measures to correct the negative issues in its supply chain in order to be show social responsibility and to avoid serious financial devaluation of the brand. (Less)
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author
Lapel, Claudia; Ellez, Oylum and Anarbekov, Erbol
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Customer based brand equity, brand extension, social network, negative e-WOM, Facebook, electronic word of mouth, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
1982615
date added to LUP
2011-06-01
date last changed
2012-04-02 19:03:41
@misc{1982615,
  abstract     = {The emergent Social Media presents risks and opportunities for the brand that academic research still needs to reach further understanding (MSI, 2010). From both theoretical and managerial points of view, research is needed in regards to consumer created negative brand meanings in social media settings. Further, consumers have now the ability to share negative brand product evaluations at a massive scale through the practice of electronic word-of mouth, eWOM (Jansen et al., 2009) which is especially threatening to the corporate brand value because its perceived value lays in the minds of its consumers. Moreover, negative eWOM is a form of media content and to consumers; it has a higher degree of credibility than corporate communications. Hence, it is of pivotal importance for corporations to have knowledge of the contents of consumer created negative brand meanings in Social Networks, in order to be aware of the negative brand image created by consumers in the online environment. Ultimately, knowledge of the contents of consumer created negative eWOM will enable corporations to identify weaknesses in the corporate brand image, while learning the motives of consumer rejection or dissatisfaction with the brand. Accordingly, the following study aim is to describe brand and product related consumer created negative content in social media settings, specifically negative e-WOM, in order to monitor customer based brand equity by identifying motives of dissatisfaction or rejection articulated by consumers through media content in Social Networks. Further, the purpose of the study is to describe the relationship between negative e-WOM related to a product and the parent brand Corporate Brand Equity in order to monitor and identify areas of weakness in the corporate image, which in turn, will aid marketers in the design of new strategies directed to sustain brand equity in the virtual environment. The theoretical perspective of this study considers Strategic Brand Management and consumer Behaviour theories points of view. The study will follow a case study research design and Grounded Theory analysis methods. The choice of research design was made taking into consideration the dimensions of the research process including the understanding of the particular behaviour in its specific social context, its sequential nature as social phenomena and interconnections amongst theory and data. Moreover, the case study will analyse instances of consumer created negative eWOM related to the Apple iPhone on the page ‘We hate Iphone!!” of social network Facebook.
Conclusion: The analysis shows Anti-branding sentiment triggered by consumer disapproval of corporate irresponsible business practices as a latent threat to corporate image. Consequently, it is recommended that Apple marketing communications send a clear message in regards to Corporate Responsibility (CSR) issues. In addition, corporate management needs to continue working towards a solution to the irresponsible business practices in its supply chain as a prerequisite to include CSR as part of their corporate image. Hence, Apple, as a corporation must ensure that its supply chain is aligned to CSR values. Otherwise, the company risks to be perceived as inauthentic, and it can backfire and cause an increase of consumer anti-branding activity (Smith et. al, 2010). Moreover, market speech anti-branding content is particularly damaging to the Corporate Brand since it has a direct impact on the corporate brand value (Krishnamurthy & Kucuk, 2009). Therefore, it is recommended that Apple implements further measures to correct the negative issues in its supply chain in order to be show social responsibility and to avoid serious financial devaluation of the brand.},
  author       = {Lapel, Claudia and Ellez, Oylum and Anarbekov, Erbol},
  keyword      = {Customer based brand equity,brand extension,social network,negative e-WOM,Facebook,electronic word of mouth,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Negative electronic Word of Mouth & Customer Based Brand Equity: A Qualitative View of the Apple iPhone Aversion on Facebook},
  year         = {2011},
}