Antilogy: the concept, levels and ways to manage it
In the marketing literature that deals with branding, the aspects related to negative attitudes towards brands, which are referred to as antilogy , are not fully fully consecrated and studied.A significant contribution to the study of the mechanisms of antilogy was made by M. Lee from the University of Auckland. He proposed the concept of brand avoidance, which can be translated as "the desire to avoid the brand". However, earlier this term was used by experts TA Oliva, RL Oliver and J. S. McMillan and was understood as a synonym for switching to a competing brand as a result of dissatisfaction with the brand. In practice, the desire to avoid the brand is a much more complex phenomenon, which includes switching to another brand, but is not limited to it. It is M. Lee who defines brand avoidance as a phenomenon in which consumers consciously shy away from the brand or refuse to move, and especially draws attention to the fact that ignoring the brand due to inconsistencies in consumer income and physical inaccessibility of the brand is not included in the this concept. Therefore, the study of brand avoidance involves a study of the motivation of consumers who reject the brand, despite the availability of financial opportunities for the acquisition of the brand and its physical accessibility.
However, it is obvious that the desire to avoid the brand, studied by M. Lee, only partially describes the proposed antiloyalty for consideration. After all, the phenomenon of brand avoidance implies ultimately the rejection of the brand, whereas in practice there are cases of negative perception of the brand, which does not become the reason for rejecting it. For example, it is often possible to hear negative feedback about the brand from the consumer side, despite the fact that the consumer remains an active user of the criticized brand.
Since the degree of negative attitude towards the brand may be different, the levels of antilogy are distinguished:
1) defectors & quot ;, or price buyers - those that are completely indifferent to the brand. Preference is given to what is available, or what is convenient. A company that owns a brand requires little effort to turn consumers' indifference into a positive attitude;
2) Unsatisfied and disappointed buyers. Buyers, whose attitude to the brand can be based on negative associations, low perceived quality, including due to unsuccessful consumption experience. To overcome the negative attitude of the company owning the brand, it is necessary to understand what caused the disappointment of the consumer, and overcome the emotional barrier caused by the dissatisfaction with the brand. The costs of a company that owns a brand to change the attitude of consumers at this level of antilogy can be estimated as average;
3) brand antagonists . Buyers who do not really like the brand. Their dislike has a much more vivid emotional expression than dissatisfaction and disappointment. A company that owns a brand will have to incur significant costs in order to change the attitude of antagonistic consumers;
4) brand haters . Consumers who openly declare their negative attitude towards the brand and what are its enemies. Since this brand causes extremely unpleasant emotions for this category of consumers, it is almost impossible to overcome this barrier (the consumer will not use the brand under any circumstances).
As with loyalty, a company that owns a brand has the ability to control every level of antilogy. Understanding the reasons for the negative attitude to the brand makes it possible to more effectively manage the behavior of consumers, and therefore, to increase the brand's capital. Thus, the study of antilogy provides an opportunity to expand the habitual study of the mechanisms of positive perception of brands and the commitment of consumers with the goal of achieving effective results.
In order to control consumers' antilogy, it is necessary to understand the motivation behind the negative attitude towards brands. M. Lee singled out four scenarios in which consumers are trying to avoid the brand.
1. Unsuccessful experience (unrealized brand promise). The consumer aspires to avoid the brand, as the brand's promise to ns has been realized, as a result of which the consumer has considered the experience of using the brand not meeting the expectations, negative. The reasons for bad experience may be poor quality of goods or services, additional inconveniences (such as the need to spend time on returning the product), an unpleasant situation in the store.
2. Identity mismatch (unattractive brand promise). The consumer tries to avoid a brand whose image does not correspond to the consumer's self-esteem, so he does not want to have a relationship to a certain set of associations and values on which the brand is based. Unlike the previous scenario, consumption of this brand is not necessary. The main reasons for the discrepancy of identity may be: negative perception of the reference group (in this case, the target audience of the brand), lack of authenticity (for example, the brand ceases to be a symbol of the added value of a product or service), loss of individualization (the brand loses its uniqueness and becomes a mass phenomenon).
3. Insufficient value (inadequate brand promise). The consumer seeks to avoid the brand, whose promised value is considered insufficient. In particular, some consumers refuse inexpensive brands, believing that a low price is a signal of poor quality of goods or services. In some cases, consumers, on the contrary, abandon the brand, considering its price unfairly inflated. The reasons for the lack of value may be a low level of brand awareness (the consumer may lack information about the brand value), aesthetic aspects of the brand's value (for example, the consumer may find the brand not valuable enough because of the package that he did not like). As an additional reason for the lack of value of the brand, M. Lee calls the priority of food. Studies have shown that people in a special way refer specifically to food because of the fact that it is a commodity of everyday use that affects health. In this sense, all non-food brands are evaluated by the consumer as opposed to the food (for example, the consumer is ready to buy the most expensive food brands, but does not want to spend on clothes). It should be added that the consumer can allocate in a special category not only food, but also pharmaceutical, cosmetic brands, as well as any other products that he considers to be of paramount importance.
4. Moral principles (negative, from the consumer's perspective, the brand promise). The consumer seeks to avoid the brand for ideological reasons of a socio-political and ethical nature. One of the manifestations of moral principles may be hostility towards the country of origin of the brand or the so-called financial patriotism, in which the consumer believes that the brand has a negative impact on the economy of his country. Also, moral principles are manifested in resisting the dominance of global brands. The reason for the negative attitude towards monopolization may be the prevailing view that what "more" brand, the less he values his consumers. In addition, some believe that the scale makes the brand impersonal, forcing it to lose its individuality. Another reason for ignoring brands for ideological reasons may be irresponsible social behavior of companies.
Often the effect of antilogy arises with a high level of loyalty to a competing brand. For example, the brands Microsoft and Apple. Because the competition of these brands is built on the principle of consumer loyalty to Apple and anti-loyalty to Microsoft . Company Apple , using the slogans Think different ("Think differently"), Switch ("Switch"), creates a certain image of the "enemy", winning loyalty to your brand with the help of the negative attitude of consumers to competitors. But at the same time, the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, when he says that he forbids his children to use the iPod and iPhone devices.
In order for consumers to re-acquire their avoided brands, M. Lee suggests using the following tools.
1. Transformation of the brand promise . When consumers perceive the brand promise as something negative, they begin to avoid the brand. Changing the promise of the brand can convince consumers to return to it. The tool for transformation of the brand promise is a comprehensive approach to changing the negative associations associated with it, the implementation of which the company must engage at all levels.
2. > If the company does not want to make global changes, you can expand the brand portfolio by adding a new brand (subbrand) with other promises, especially if the consumer does not know about the relationship of the new brand with the one he avoids.
3. Strengthening the brand promise . Strengthening the brand promise will require fewer resources than its transformation and diversification. Tools to strengthen the promise can be an increase in the value offered by the brand, a change in brand image, cooperation with other companies (co-branding), as well as positive information about the brand.
4. Restoring the brand promise . Since a bad experience of consumption may in the future turn the buyer away from the brand, you can try to change the attitude of consumers by restoring an unrealized promise. The tool to restore an unrealized promise is sampling, which allows consumers to make sure that the brand is worthy of consumption, that it is possible to give it a second chance. M. Lee emphasizes that, unfortunately, not all situations in which consumers are trying to avoid the brand, can be corrected using the described toolkit. So, in a number of cases, the desire to avoid a brand is ineradicable. This is also true for the anti-loyalty effect, which often appears as a downside to brand popularity. For example, in the study "Brands that we love." Brands that we hate ( Brands we love , brands we hate), conducted by the journal Marketing together with the research agency Joshua G 2 in the UK, 30% of brands simultaneously became one of the most beloved and most hated brands (among them Tesco, 02, Facebook, British Airways , Sainsbury's, Orange, The Sun , KFC , etc.). In particular, the brand McDonald's was the most hated brand in the UK: it was named 27.2% of respondents. At the same time, the brand was included in the list of the most beloved, as 11.3% of respondents voted for it. McDonald's is one of the most criticized global brands, which does not prevent it from maintaining its leading position and increasing its value. The information about the antilogy serves as a source of increasing the brand value of McDonald's. So, the company Interbrand, estimated in 2008 the brand McDonald's of 31 billion dollars ( against $ 29 billion in 2007), believes that the reason for the success of McDonald's is precisely because the brand has a unique ability to adapt to the needs of people in a short time. The company quickly engaged in changing the range under public pressure, which blamed McDonald's for feeding unhealthy food.
When analyzing the perception of consumers, it is important that those who love the brand stand up to the negative audience. In this case, it is not necessary that a loyal audience of a scale outperforms a group of those who are negative about the brand. Moreover, as already noted earlier, such a conflict of loyal and antagonistic audience can be laid in the basis of brand positioning. For example, the British brand of spices Marmite positions itself as follows: "You either love it or hate it" ( You either love it or hate it ). The company that owns the brand does everything to divide the audience into loyal and antagonistic consumers. The ratio of loyal and anti-loyal groups by scale is not a key indicator for Marmite, since the main task is not to leave anyone indifferent.
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