Calming the Waters or Riding the Waves? Understanding Why and How Companies Can Leverage Negative Customer Sentiment to Empower the Brand

Pernille Rydén, Efthymia Kottika, Muhammad Ismail Hossain, Vatroslav Skare

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Traditional consumer anger management tends to be compromising rather than empowering the brand. This paper conceptualizes and provides a case example on how consumer empowerment and negative emotions can in fact create opportunities for companies to ride the waves of consumer anger in a way that strengthens their brand. The consumers are empowered by ‘letting this anger out’, from which firms can gain huge attention. Companies can utilize such situations to inform people on their brands’ core values, and initiate discussions of larger societal relevance, which improves the brand awareness and value. This calls for a reconsideration of assumptions that empowerment is like a seesaw swinging in favor of either the consumer or the company, and that negative emotions can only be destructive.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 44th EMAC Annual Conference 2015: Collaboration in Research - KU Leuven & Vlerick Business School, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015


ConferenceThe 44th EMAC Annual Conference 2015
LocationKU Leuven & Vlerick Business School
Internet address


  • Empowerment
  • Anger
  • Community
  • Business-to-consumer
  • Consumer behavior
  • Social media

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