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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Customers as advocates in times of brand crises: Why, when, and how?

Published: May 25, 2021


Xi Yu, University of Twente; Samuel Kristal, International School of Management; Florian Schuberth, University of Twente; Jörg Henseler, University of Twente


Existing literature showed that motivating consumers to defend a brand during a brand crisis can be an effective approach to deal with brand crises. However, antecedents of consumers’ motivation to defend a brand and the feasibility of co-creation during a brand crisis are not well explored. The study explores the antecedents which influence consumers’ motivation to defend a brand. The results indicate that brand attitude and perceived ethicality influence brand crisis evaluation positively. Brand familiarity and perceived importance impact on brand crisis evaluation negatively. We did not find enough evidence to support the effect of attitude certainty on brand crisis evaluation. Moreover, brand attitude and brand crisis evaluation affect consumers’ motivation to defend a brand positively. Finally, the type of firm response has an effect on consumers' motivation to defend a brand. While an appropriate firm response increases consumers’ motivation to defend a brand, an inappropriate response decreases the motivation.