Hungry for sour grape: brand rejection on brand desirability and preference

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Sun, Daniel
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Many niche and luxury brands build their strategies based on the notion that “people want what they can’t have.” Companies build their brand exclusiveness on brand rejection. While rejection may heighten one’s desire, it may also decrease one’s preference and enjoyment. In this study, we focus on the effect of brand rejection by exclusive brands on consumers: do consumers want a brand more but like it less when rejected by a brand and can this counter-driving be expanded to include peer brands? In two studies, we show that the counter-driving of want and preference is present when brand rejection comes from a legitimate source and expands to include peer brands but not non-peer brands. Our research makes novel theoretical contributions and provides important managerial implications. We offer suggestions for future research that may bring great interest and knowledge expansion in the field of consumer behaviour and branding. 
Brand, Rejection, Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Peer, Luxury