The rejection of brand hegemony
Purveyors of strong brands can, through a number of the means intended to bolster their brand image, alienate and frustrate their consumers to the point of creating a broad-based reaction -- the rejection of brand hegemony. The literature describes a number of motivations for anti-consumption behavior. This paper explores the rejection of brand hegemony as a motivation for, and an expression of, anti-consumption, through a phenomenological study of the open source software (OSS) community. The study explores whether, and to what extent, the OSS community actively rejects software's dominant brand, Microsoft, and what motivations may be at work in the creation and expression of that rejection. Findings elucidate the necessary conditions for the rejection of brand hegemony to occur, revealing valuable lessons for vendors. These conditions comprise environment, positive motivation and negative motivation factors. The first two conditions are relatively constant, regardless of vendor's actions, while the last is largely of the vendor's creation. The managerial and theory-building implications of the study indicate that purveyors of strong brands may inadvertently create their own anti-consumption nemesis.
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- Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
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- Zeitlyn, David, 2003. "Gift economies in the development of open source software: anthropological reflections," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1287-1291, July.
- Muniz, Albert M, Jr & O'Guinn, Thomas C, 2001. " Brand Community," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 412-432, March.
- Holt, Douglas B, 2002. " Why Do Brands Cause Trouble? A Dialectical Theory of Consumer Culture and Branding," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 70-90, June.
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