Do identity-based perceptions lead to brand avoidance? A cross-national investigation

Muhammad Asif Khan*, Rohail Ashraf, Aneela Malik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of identity-based consumer perceptions on the brand avoidance of foreign brands across multiple markets.

Focussing on general product category brands, the study was conducted across two countries, i.e. New Zealand (Study 1) and Pakistan (Study 2), using online surveys. Study 1 explores the perceptions of university students, whereas Study 2 evaluates the perceptions of a more heterogeneous population across the country. Partial least squares–structural equation modelling was used to analyse the model.

First, the results confirm that individual-level identity-based drivers (undesired self-congruence and negative social influence) consistently predict brand avoidance for foreign brands across both markets, whereas country-level drivers (consumer ethnocentrism and animosity) have inconsistent effects across the markets. Second, the study demonstrates that avoidance attitude fully mediates the relationship between antecedences and intentions to avoid foreign brands.

Practical implications
The finding that undesired self-congruence is the strongest predictor of brand avoidance across the markets reinforces the importance of brand image congruence with the target audience. Considering the negative effect of social influence, especially on social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter), this finding cautions managers to constantly monitor the prevailing negative word of mouth (online or offline) about the brand to mitigate its potential effect.

Drawing on social identity theory, this study explores the identity-based pre-purchase determinants of brand avoidance at the country level and at the individual level. These determinants have never been explored yet in the context of brand avoidance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1117
Number of pages23
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number4
Early online date31 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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