Brand repositioning may cause a loss of attributes that formerly characterized it. This study investigates how consumers react to the potential disappearance of such attributes. Specifically, it addresses the question whether consumers are more concerned about the pragmatic consequences for achieving their own goals, or about the emotional consequences for their sense of pride and their feelings that the brand may no longer be the same brand. Our findings show that to some extent consumers worry about the potential disappearance of those brand attributes that are important to express their identity. So, their degree of identification with the brand matters. However, our findings show that they are much more concerned about attributes that help them reach their objectives. The results show how pragmatic consumers' reaction to brand repositioning can be even in situations where customers have long-lasting intensive contact with the brand.

brand identity attributes, pragmatic reaction, repositioning, sense of pride, threats,
Corporate Reputation Review
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Illia, L, & van Rekom, J. (2012). Identity concerns or functional concerns high vs low identifiers reaction to brand identity change. Corporate Reputation Review (Vol. 15, pp. 52–67). doi:10.1057/crr.2011.26