This paper aims to investigate the effects of buzz about the focal brand on competing brands’ attitudes.
The authors find that spillover effects are widespread across product categories and affect competing brands through (negative) halo effect and (unfavorable) preference substitution. The authors do not find evidence of positive spillover effects for non-focal brands.
The authors provide generalizable evidence that positive and negative buzz spills over competing brands’ attitudes for hundreds of brands across the largest sectors of the US economy. Interestingly, positive and negative buzz have asymmetric effects on consumer attitudes. These effects vary by consumer attitude metric and are moderated by brand news intensity, strength and similarity.
First, marketing managers should monitor the buzz of competing brands. Second, if managers are concerned with impressions, they should intervene when there is a negative buzz about competitors (halo effect). Third, managers should stimulate positive buzz to negatively affect their competitors’ purchases. Fourth, managing a smaller brand has advantages regarding impressions and recommendations, while news intensity can shield from negative spillover effects for impressions. Finally, brand similarity amplifies the spillover effects across the board.
COLICEV, A. et DE BRUYN, A. (2023). The spillover effects of positive and negative buzz on brand attitudes. European Journal of Marketing, In press.