From Loyalty to Disloyalty : Exploring negative consumer-brand relationships in social media

University essay from Jönköping University; Jönköping University

Abstract: Brand loyalty has been studied extensively in consumer-brand relationship literature. However, the negative side of these relationships has not been studied to the same degree. This paper starts with Court et al.’s (2009) loyalty loop as part of the consumer decision journey and proposes that consumers may stop being loyal to a brand due to various circumstances.The authors propose a negative view of the loyalty loop, the disloyalty loop, exist, in which consumers become disloyal. Furthermore, the authors conducted this study in order to find out if this relationship exists, the disloyalty loop, within the framework of social media platforms, i.e. applications who allow communication among users over the Internet. These platforms should not solely be seen as online communication tools, but as brands themselves.Semi-structured interviews with social media users were conducted showing that consumers can navigate between the loyalty and disloyalty loops, and even exit the brand relationship completely. These findings indicate that consumers’ brand loyalty should not be taken for granted, and service failures may cause them to reduce their patronage, abandon the brand, and even influence other consumers negatively through word-of-mouth.

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