Exploring the Concept of Brand Embarrassment: the Experiences of Older Adolescents

Ian Grant, University of Strathclyde, UK
Gianfranco Walsh, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
Although consumer behavior researchers pay continuing attention to brands and their importance to consumers, not much is known about the negative emotional effects of brands. The authors extend prior research by introducing a new construct called ‘brand embarrassment’. Brand embarrassment refers to anxiety and negative emotions evoked by brands in certain consumption contexts. A qualitative study with older adolescents in the United Kingdom finds that embarrassment is experienced in the private and public domains. Brand embarrassment is explained in terms of issues of the personal-self and relationships with brands. Overwhelmingly, the participants claim that they try to avoid possible brand embarrassment.
[ to cite ]:
Ian Grant and Gianfranco Walsh (2009) ,"Exploring the Concept of Brand Embarrassment: the Experiences of Older Adolescents", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 218-224.