To Act or Not to Act: Examining How Brand Activism Affect Consumers' Attitudes

Tasia Tauber Bindslev & Mette Østergaard Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Consumers are increasingly expecting brands to take a stance on sociopolitical issues. However, few brands take a stance on sociopolitical issues because of the risk of consumer outrage and varying understanding of the benefits. This thesis sets out to investigate how brand stance on sociopolitical issues affect consumers’ attitudes toward the brand, examined in the context of Carlsberg Danmark and MeToo in Denmark. Through a survey-experiment with three brand stance manipulations on MeToo it is examined how consumers’ attitudes change dependent on brand stance being either MeToo supportive, MeToo non-supportive or neutral. Our findings contribute to the theoretical literature of brand activism as we find both empirical evidence of positive and negative consumer attitudes when a brand takes a stance on a sociopolitical issue. Specifically, our findings provide evidence of brand stance having an effect on consumers’ brand affect, brand stance evaluation, brand love, and self-brand integration. Another interesting find is that we solely find the consumers in agreement with MeToo to be affected by brand stance on MeToo, which serves as a path for future research in understanding why consumers behave differently based on their agreement with a sociopolitical issue. This study contributes clarity on how consumers react to brand stances on sociopolitical issues, thus better equipping brands to venture into the land of brand activism and utilize the valuable potential for enhancing consumer attitudes and relationships while navigating the risks.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2021
Number of pages251
SupervisorsFlorian Kock