Communitas Interruptus: the Limits of Loyalty

This paper presents the result of a qualitative study of consumers who have defected from a brand community. The Brand Community literature has largely focused on questions that relate to motivations of its members and sponsors, the processes that lead to integration within the community, and some of the challenges Brand Community can create for marketers. We know much less about the experiences of individual members and how those experiences impact their participation in the community and loyalty to the brand. We find defection among highly integrated member informants is typically associated with a significant life event or trauma. Less integrated members fail to connect on the elemental relationships of brand community and these misconnections can motivate departure.


James McAlexander (2011) ,"Communitas Interruptus: the Limits of Loyalty", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 401-405.


James McAlexander, Oregon State University, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Q3. Academic Branding on Social Media: Examining the Influence of Personal Brands on the Professor-Student Relationships

Edita Petrylaite, Northumbria University, UK
Darija Aleksic, University of Ljubljana

Read More


When Consumers Choose for Others, Their Preferences Diverge from Their Own Salient Goals

Olya Bullard, University of Winnipeg

Read More


Doing Worse but Feeling Better: Consequences of Collective Choice

Nuno Jose Lopes, University of Navarra
Elena Reutskaja, IESE Business School

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.