Discovering the dark side of brand attachment: impulsive buying, obsessive-compulsive buying and trash talking

Arnold Japutra, Yuksel Ekinci, Lyndon Simkin

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    Although brand attachment has positive effects on favorable consumer behavior, recent studies have advocated that brand attachment may have dark sides which stimulate some harmful behaviors. Nevertheless, research on the dark side of brand attachment is scant. This study investigates the effect of brand attachment on two negative behaviors (compulsive buying and trash talking). It also examines whether consumer age moderates these relationships. The survey findings show that the three components of brand attachment - passion, prominence, and anxiety - are positively related to impulsive and obsessive-compulsive buying. In turn, consumers who exhibit obsessive-compulsive buying are more likely to practice trash talking. Furthermore, consumer age moderates the relationship between brand passion, brand anxiety and compulsive buying. Younger consumers are more vulnerable to compulsive buying. The study shows which component of brand attachment is related to stronger urge to conduct compulsive buying and the mechanism of how brand attachment increases the tendency to conduct trash talking. Hence the research adds to the body of knowledge of consumer-brand relationship and brand management, particularly on the dark side of brand attachment. The findings contribute to the creation and deployment of altruistic customer relationship programs and regulations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)442-453
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Early online date15 Mar 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


    • brand attachment
    • brand passion
    • brand prominence
    • brand anxiety
    • compulsive buying
    • trash talking


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