4 Reasons Consumers Hate Your Luxury Brand
In your next marketing meeting, ask team members to write on a piece of paper the name of a luxury brand they profess to love and to give it a ‘love score’ between one and ten. As a follow-up, ask your bemused team to explain why they love this brand. Was that easy? Now, ask the same questions but replace the word love with hate. There will certainly be a pause as your team members refocus. Observe your respondents’ facial expressions, and you’ll see: it’s no laughing matter.
This very simple exercise, which can be used at any company, reveals some hard truths. Consumers don’t just love luxury brands; they also hate luxury brands. It isn’t very difficult for respondents to spontaneously identify a brand they hate — not dislike but hate.
What is the source of luxury brand hate, and should luxury brand managers be on edge if their brand is on the most-hated list? A research study of French luxury consumers called Antecedents of Luxury Brand Hate: A Quantitative Study identified the following predictors of luxury brand hate:
Consumers have high expectations when purchasing a luxury product or service. When actual performance fails to meet prior expectations, consumer reactions can be extremely negative — and that is when consumers will likely turn against a brand. Each luxury brand interaction is important. Consumers may be happy with the actual product: let’s say, the quality, design, and craftsmanship of a handbag. However, if the in-store or online service fails to match the desired expectations, consumers may reject the brand with utter disdain. Not all customers will complain, and their unhappiness may be challenging to decode. Nevertheless, it is imperative to gauge the source of consumer dissatisfaction and identify whether it is a systematic problem.
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