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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Examining the Impacts of Social Settings on Customers’ Relational Ties and Emotional Responses

Published: May 28, 2019


Kin Yan HO, Durham University


Embarrassment; Brand ; Quality


The purpose of this study is to examine the relational factors that influence existing customers’ embarrassment when a negative brand incident (NBI) occurs. A 2 (brand relationship quality: low vs high) x 2 (social inclusion: presence or absence) between-subject experiment was conducted, to assess how the level of customer–brand relationship quality (BRQ) moderates this effect. Results show that customers who have a high level of satisfaction with their relationship with a brand feel less embarrassed than those with a low degree of satisfaction. Social inclusion drives this relationship. The findings also show that low BRQ customers feel less embarrassed in the presence of a social group. The results of this study extend the cognitive appraisal framework for negative emotions by examining the role of BRQ for existing customers towards an NBI, and provide new directions for brand managers with respect to how they manage customers’ negative emotions when an NBI occurs.