The Dark Side of Brand Community: Inter-Group Stereotyping, Trash Talk, and Schadenfreude

Thomas Hickman, Loyola University, New Orleans, USA
James Ward, Arizona State University, USA
Prior work on brand communities has emphasized the positive aspects of community participation on brand involvement and loyalty. Qualitative studies have noted the possibility that involvement in brand communities may encourage participants to adopt disparaging views of rival brands and their users, but little research has tested these assumptions using structured measures. The present study investigates the relationship between identification with a brand community, and such “dark” behaviors as inter-group stereotyping, “trash talking” rival brand communities, and feeling pleasure at the misfortune of rival brands and their users.
[ to cite ]:
Thomas Hickman and James Ward (2007) ,"The Dark Side of Brand Community: Inter-Group Stereotyping, Trash Talk, and Schadenfreude", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 314-319.