Brand Hate and Customer Loyalty


May 25, 2022 • 8 min read

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No brand wants to be hated. But there will always be this gap even though. As a business owner, you have tried your best to give the best.

There are many reasons that can cause brand hate, and often, the hatred that arises is due to factors that the business owner does not identify.

This article will discuss what brand hate looks like and how it affects your customer loyalty.

What is Brand Hate?

Brand hate, in general terms, is defined as "intense negative emotional influence on the brand," which can come from four things such as the country of origin of the brand, customer dissatisfaction with the product, negative stereotypes of brand users, and social performance of the company.

Brand hate makes customers avoid the brand, and even more, reject the brand.

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However, there is a difference between brand dislike and brand hate. Because often, the two are confused, even though there is a slight difference between the two.

  • Brand Dislike

Romani et al. (2009) explored negative emotions towards brands, specifically brand dislike, anger, and sadness.

In the findings, respondents were more likely to describe a single negative emotional state than a combination. They collect all the results, and most of the feelings are centered on dislike and anger. Some expressed emotions such as aversion, dislike, and disgust.

Another study conducted by Dalli et al. (2007) also explores brand dislike. This study examines brand users' factors and levels of disapproval, such as price or quality. In this condition, consumers usually see the brand as acting unethically, immorally, or illegally.

  • Brand hate

Sternberg (2003) describes hatred in terms of three components, denial and disgust, anger and fear, and devaluation through humiliation.

Brand hatred is more intense, powerful, and essential than brand dislike. It also applies to brand like versus brand love (Rossiter, 2012). A brand is more necessary than brand love. In marketing and consumer research, the first conceptualization of brand hate is seen in Grégoire et al. (2009).

Gregoire et al. (2009) describe hatred as a form of desire for revenge or a desire to avoid. Consumers either have a desire to punish the brand for what has happened to them, or they want to withdraw from the brand. These two desires are separate reactions/outcomes of brand hatred.

Brand Hate Determinants

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These determinants can be grouped as product-related (negative experience), consumer-related (self-image vs. brand image), or contextual-related (ideological incompatibility).

  • Negative past experience

Psychological research shows that emotions are related to experience and behavior (Shaver et al., 1987), associated with branding. It is assumed that negative past experiences can cause brand hatred. Negative past experiences were categorized as product-related determinants.

Bad experiences can arise from consumer expectations; the nature of consumers is to compare their initial expectations with reality (Oliver, 1980). If their expectations are not met or below, then consumers have a negative experience, leading to dissatisfaction and brand hatred.

  • Self image vs. brand image mismatch

Most of the determinants related to consumers are caused by self-image vs. brand image with the brand. Self-image vs. brand image can be described as consumers do not want to be associated with the image represented by the brand.

Self-image vs. brand image, or image mismatch between consumers and brands, can cause negative emotions towards brands so that individuals intentionally do not use or buy brands to represent their identity.

  • Ideological incompatibility

Contextually related factors are the nature, moral or ideological incompatibility between consumers and brands. Lee et al. (2009) suggest that this determinant is beyond individual needs because it is contextual.

After all, it is associated with a social or moral focus—for example, environmental concerns, disrespect for human rights, or unethical and unfair business practices. Ideological incompatibility arises from consumers' legal, ethical, or social problems with brands (Lee et al., 2009).

How Does Brand Hate Affect Disloyalty?

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  • Brand hate leads to brand avoidance

Consumers who can forgive tend not to produce brand hatred results regarding brand forgiveness. Therefore, consumers who are more likely to ignore it directly tend to avoid it.

It also applies to the opposite. Consumers who tend to be unforgiving are more likely to act more deeply so that they can hate the brand, even to the point of leaving the brand.

  • Brand hate leads to negative word of mouth

Personal complaints can also be the negative word of mouth. Baumeister et al. (2001) stated that individuals are more likely to share their negative feelings with others than to share their positive feelings or experiences.

Personal complaints are achieved by telling friends and family about brands perceived as unfavorable. As a result, those who haven't interacted with your brand will also feel hate, even though hate is often personal if there are no fatal flaws.

  • Brand hate causes public complaints

Public complaints are also a form of negative word of mouth. However, Gregory et al. (2010) identify public complaints resulting from different behavior, separate from private complaints. Public complaints can be made through online posts, anti-branding websites, social media, or blogs.

Public complaints cause more harm to brands than personal complaints because they are the biggest on public platforms, so everyone is likely to access the information.

Improve Customer Loyalty with the Right Loyalty Platform

Loyalty programs can be a tool to gain a competitive advantage through unique functionality and rewards. Investing in the right loyalty platform can help you avoid brand hate from customers.

Consider the following if you decide to invest in a loyalty platform:

  • Show your customers that you value them

Before deciding which platform to choose, first find a balance between what your customers want and what you want to offer in your loyalty program. Show your customers that you give them the credit they deserve.

  • Choose a reliable loyalty & rewards platform

There are many factors to consider when finding the best loyalty program platform. Your loyalty platform provider must be a strategic consultant and must be willing to work with your team side by side to build a loyalty platform that is in line with company values. Consider the following business requirements.

    • Data integration requirements
    • Insight and reporting
    • Mobile friendly, API-ready & have white label solutions
    • Extensive reward items for loyalty point redemption

Tada as the leading B2B loyalty & reward platform in Indonesia can be your best choice to create a unique, scalable and personalized loyalty & rewards program based on your business needs.

Tada has helped hundreds of local and global companies to retain their customers, partners and employees using loyalty programs. Request our demo now to see how Tada can help your growth, too.

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