Negative E-WOM as a Response to Brand Failures: Evidence from an Online Brand Community
This paper aims to understand how consumers spread negative e-WOM as a reaction to brand failures in online
brand communities. Data is drawn from an 18-month netnographic study including participant and non-participant
observation. The findings reveal that consumers in online brand communities do not only share their positive feelings but
also their negative feelings as a response to brand failures. The paper offers some insights for marketing scholars and
practitioners. Besides the advantages, online brand communities may also be disadvantageous to a company, as negative
messages from unsatisfied consumers could threaten brand image. There are still limited studies examining negative e-WOM
in online brand communities. This study extends the previous literature by demonstrating a key driver of negative e-WOM in
an online brand community.
Keywords— e-WOM, negative e-WOM, word of mouth, negative word of mouth, online brand communities, netnography.