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Based on extensive literature in line with brand avoidance, anti-consumption,

and consumer resistance, researchers can concluded, there are some literature
generally could support factors that could direct customer rejecting other brand
or services.


People or customer might rejecting other brand or service provider due to their
own self-consciousness. Self-consciousness refers to the people’s habit or
tendency to focus on oneself, n anything he or she wanted to do. Self-
consciousness is also can refer as self-awareness or can be defined as a
person's view of himself or herself as a social object in the community, with an
acute awareness of other people's perspectives about him or her (Fenigstein et
al., 1975). In the context of consumer behavior, this also related to sensitiveness
to his or surroundings before makes any purchased decisions.

Psychologist, theory of self-consciousness by Buss (1980), mentioned that

subject's attention can be seen as dichotomous, either directed toward the
environment or focused internally on the self. Buss (1980) divided the words ‘self
‘in two components: the private self and the public self. To him, the private self-
consciousness disposition is concerned with attending to or thinking about the
covert and hidden aspects of the self which is not suppose to be not easily
known by the others, such as inner feelings, fantasies and thoughts (e.g.,
daydreams), focal stimuli (e.g., sore muscles), diffuse internal states (e.g., anger)
and motives (e.g., desire to achieve). It also refers to self-reflection, heightened
self-knowledge, and awareness of one's own conceptions, beliefs, emotions and
drives. (Buss, 1980; Marquis and Filiatrault, 2002b). Kernis and Granneman

Contradict to above, Public self-consciousness is awareness of the self as it is

viewed or perceived by others. It reflects a concern for the publicly displayed
aspects of the self that can easily be examined by others and is linked with overt
displays and impression management (Cheek and Briggs, 1982). The highly
public self-conscious subjects are more sensitive to personal rejection (Bushman,
1993). People who exhibit a trait tendency towards public self-consciousness will
likely engage in the behavior of self-monitoring. That has been shown that
individuals who are high self-monitors will monitor the self presentation of others
in order to find cues for their own self presentation (Gould, 1993; Snyder, 1974.
Applied to consumer behavior, the theory of psychological reactance1 (Brehm,
1966) suggests that when consumers' behavioral freedom is reduced or
threatened, they will become motivationally aroused (Marquis and Filiatrault,
2002a). Their arousal will be directed against any further attempts to curtail their
freedom. Therefore, consumers who are more self conscious would have a higher
tendency to react negatively to the pressures of the marketplace and to be more
aware of their ability to react against them through anti-consumption activity.
This will makes them rejecting some other brands or services which could
portray their inner selves from people surroundings them.

Self-concept, self-esteem and self-consistency

In relation to Self consciousness, motives of each of individual people also can

represent the disposition within an individual either to strive towards positive
incentives (e.g goals, mission), or to avoid negative incentives (e.g threats)
(Markus and Nurius, 1986).

Both motives here referring to the self-concept and image congruency theory
(Grubb and Grathwohl, 1967) and another motives is related to self-esteem and
self-consistency. Self-esteem aims to seek experiences that enhance or protect
self-concept. Whereas, self-consistency is the motive to behave consistently with
our views of our selves. Self-esteem is one of main concern in this study as it is
strongly linked to the responses of, and acceptance by, significant others and
involves both approach and avoidance behaviors that related to rejecting other
product or services.

Attitudes plays vital role in maintaining and protecting customers self-esteem,

encouraging tem to distance themselves from disliked products/services and
brands (Shavitt, 1989; 1990). The maintenance of self-esteem can be linked to
the social identity function of social adjustment (Shavitt, 1989, 1990; Greenwald,
1989), which is associated with the strategic sense of public self (which includes
avoiding negative evaluations from significant others); and with the group sense

Further information on Theory of Psychological Reactance see. http://www.psych-
of collective self (which seeks to meet the goals of important “approach”
reference groups, and also to avoid the goals of important avoidance or rejected
reference groups) (Eagly and Chaiken, 1993, pp. 484-5). The maintenance of self-
esteem involves the protection and enhancement of the sense of self, and also
the avoidance of self-abasement by rejecting products with negative imagery
(Sirgy, 1982, pp. 289-90).

Undesired self and image congruency

Customer able to formulate their self-concepts and also define their social
reference groups through what they choose not to consume as much as what
they consume (Banister and Hogg, 2001; Englis and Solomon, 1995, 1997; Hogg,
1998; Hogg and Banister, 2001). Studies on avoidance groups (Englis and
Solomon, 1995, 1997) show that when customer associate their lifestyle with a
social group that they want to avoid, they tend to negatively evaluate
consumption constellations that they believe are stereotypical representations of
the behavior associated with the avoidance group. This will makes them decided
not to consume or rejecting that particular product or services but not associated
themselves with other social group. This facts supported by Englis and Solomon
(1995, p.24) argue, “customer may eschew purchase, ownership, and use of
such products and activities owing to their reluctance to be identified with an
avoidance group”.

Relation to that, customer who define “not me” will act by rejecting to avoid an
association with the corresponding stereotype (Hogg and Michell, 1997; Hogg,
1998). Anti-constellations is another terms “represent the complementarity of
negative choices across multi-category products” (Hogg, 1998, p.154) and
involve two types of negative choices: non choice and anti choice.

Hogg and Michell (1997, p. 62) explain “non choice includes products and
services which are simply not bought, often because they are not within the
means of the consumer” whereas anti choices “include products and services
which are positively not chosen because they are seen as incompatible and
inconsistent with the consumer's other consumption choices and preferences.”
Thus, customers can reject products that are not in harmony with their private
or public selves.

Studies further indicate that “distastes” or the “refusal of tastes” can

communicate as much about individuals as that which they opt to consume
(Banister and Hogg, 2001; Hogg and Banister, 2001). Distastes or refusal of
tastes manifest the “undesired self” (Ogilvie, 1987), an aspect of the negative
self that a person is afraid of becoming. Hogg and Banister (2001) show that
distastes and dislikes are important factors in how consumers define their
identities and the undesired self can be linked to a series of consumption choices
that are represented by tastes and distastes. They conceptualize tastes and
distastes to be a “direct function of the pursuit of self congruity and ideal
congruity” (Hogg and Banister, 2001, p.77-8) and demonstrate that in order to
enhance or support their self-concept, individuals refrain from using products and
services that they associate with negative product-user stereotypes.

Sentiment of Politic consumerism

Political consumerism2 “represents actions by people who make choices among

producers and products with the goal of changing objectionable institutional or
market practices’ Micheletti (2003, p.2). Choices made are based on attitudes
and values regarding issues of justice, fairness, or non-economic issues that
concern personal matters a well as family well-being and ethical or political
assessment of favorable and unfavorable business and government practice.
This type of consumerism normally involved both individual and collective
actions. It can either take a negative such as boycott or positive form (buycott).
Boycott more towards political sentiments and buycott is the other way round
where customer use labeling schemes to support corporations that represent
values- environmentalism, fair trade, and sustainable development, that they

Based Micheletti et al, mentioned that political consumerism concept is quite new, but this phenomenon
happen in US and Europe is not new. Studies of the United States and Europe have shown how the market has
frequently been used as an arena for political activism. For instance, Women marginalized groups, and young
people employed their purchasing power to help put an end to domestic American sweatshop labor in the early
1900s by buying “White Label” goods, to combat various kinds of discrimination through boycotts, and to fight
for peace by encouraging their parents to be socially responsible when they invest in the stock market. Both
young and old citizens from different nations have even joined together in international boycotts to protest
governmental or corporate policy. Good examples is boycott against Nestlé, South Africa, and grape producers.
See., Micheletti, Michele and Dietlind Stolle. “Concept of Political Consumerism,” in Youth Activism—An
International Encyclopedia. Lonnie R. Sherrod (ed.), Westport: Greenwood Publishing (in press).
Customer's are awareness of ethical and political issues surrounding the target
object. This will motivate them to change social conditions and business
practices, and their regular involvement in this particular form of engagement
differentiate political consumers from ordinary consumers (Stolle and Hooghe,
2003; Stolle et al., 2005). For examples, boycotts can be constituted one of the
most favored forms of political consumerism. A boycott is different from an
individual's decision to withhold consumption of a particular product or service
because a boycott constitutes an organized, collective, but non-mandatory
refusal to consume a good (Friedman, 1985; Kozinets and Handelman, 1988; Sen
et al., 2001) and also services.

The aim is to alter the targets' unfair business practices (e.g., lowering prices or
increasing quality); or, they may aim to force their targets to undertake specific
socially responsible and ethical practices (e.g., labor union recognition).
Boycotts, like many other anti-consumption acts or customer rejection. It is
relatively short-term reactions and the act of boycotting usually ends
immediately after the target of the boycott meets the demands.

Organizational dis-identification

Other than customer or people can define and enhance their self-concept not
only through brands and products or services that they consume or do not
consume but also through the organizations that they identify or dis-identify
with. Organizational identification refers to “the degree to which a person
defines him or herself as having the same attributes that he or she believes
defines the organization” (Dutton et al., 1994, p.239).

Identification helps a person to preserve his or her self-concept by developing a

connection with the organization. However, Elsbach and Bhattacharya (2001)
argue that a sense of separation from the organization can also help maintain
self-concept. The authors define organizational disidentification “as a self-
perception based on (1) a cognitive separation between one's identity and one's
perception of the identity of an organization, and (2) a negative relational
categorization of oneself and the organization” (Elsbach and Bhattacharya, 2001,
p.397). They study highlight a framework that delineates the indicators,
antecedents, and the consequences of organizational disidentification.
The antecedents include personal beliefs, values, and experiences,
organizational reputation, and the perceived similarities among the
organizational members. They argue that organizational disidentification may
lead individuals to take action by engaging in public criticism or counter-
organizational actions. In similar vein, Bhattacharya and Elsbach (2002, p.29)
focus on “distinguishing between the profiles of people who identify or disidentify
with an organization or view it neutrally.” They indicate that identifiers and
disidentifiers differ primarily in terms of actions and personal experience.

Whereas personal experience with the organization plays an important role in

identification, lack of personal experience is more common in the case of
disidentification. On the other hand, both identifiers and disidentifiers engage in
public discourse about the organization. But, “identifiers go beyond talking and
act on their belief, whereas disidentifiers stop at discourse” (Bhattacharya and
Elsbach, 2002, p.34). In other words, organizational disidentification does not
necessarily lead to the proposed counter-organizational actions, such as
boycotting the organization's products and/or supporting opposing organizations.

In short, the literature indicates that customer may refrain from using a
particular product/service or brand as a reflection of their desire to influence
business practices and promote what is good for the society overall, or as part of
their desire to avoid social groups, roles, and identities that represent the
negative self. Non-usage may involve only one brand or a series of products
across categories. Consumers can practice non-usage individually or collectively.

Negative Beliefs towards opposite brand/services

Negative beliefs can be formed based on cues that are extrinsic to a product and
do not have to be experienced in order to make judgments. These include price
(Rao, 2005), advertising (Kirmani, 1990) and brand name (Dawar and Parker,
1994). Cue Utilisation Theory (CUT) conceptualises those variables as extrinsic
product cues in contrast to intrinsic product cues such as taste and aroma
(Jacoby and Olson, 1977). In situations when intrinsic cues are difficult or
impossible to assess, consumers will be more likely to utilise extrinsic cues in
making quality judgements. With regard to PLs, Richardson et al. (1994) find that
extrinsic cues influence consumers’ judgments of PLs quality regardless of
product ingredients. Since PLs are low priced and not advertised these extrinsic
cues will lead potential customers to infer the (low) perceived quality of PL
products. Furthermore, Zeithaml (1988) stresses that in terms of perceived
quality, price or brand name are more influential cues for less heavily advertised
products, such as PLs.

Another source of negative beliefs about a brand can be formed as a result of

either symbolic incongruence (identity avoidance) or ideological incompatibility
(moral avoidance) (Lee, Motion and Conroy, 2008). In the first instance, if
consumers find that the company or brand image / value is inconsistent with
their own image / value, the brand will be rejected prior to purchase. The
literature on PLs indicates that some people perceive a high social risk in buying
PLs, as indicated by refusing to buy PLs for a gift or for guests (Batra and Sinha,
2000). They simply do not consider themselves “private label buyers”. In the
case of moral avoidance, consumers do not agree with the policies of the
company and believe that these policies have a negative impact on society.
Similarly, when consumers do not agree with the way the retailers dominate and
exercise their power over smaller players in the market or import ingredients
rather than using more local suppliers, it may negatively influence the general
purchasing of PLs.

There is one more aspect specific to PLs suggesting that the probability of
rejection could be higher than it would be for NB. This is the likelihood of spill-
over effect, which may be caused by: (1) the application of umbrella branding as
a branding strategy for PLs within a store and (2) low differentiation among PLs
from different stores. Research on brand extensions shows that umbrella
branding (where the same brand name is used for different products) might
serve as a signal because parent brand perceptions are affected by brand
extension (Wernerfelt, 1988). PL are often branded under umbrella branding (e.g.
Woolworths Select), which implies that failures in one product category or could
affect the whole PL range in a store e.g. if their chocolate is not good, then their
peanut butter will not be good either. Moreover, since past research has shown
that PLs from different stores were perceived and treated as a single category of
PL with very low differentiation between brands (Richardson, 1997), bad
experience with a PL from one store may impact on perceptions of any PLs
product regardless of the retailer or brand. The greater the perceived similarity
between the products, the greater is the probability that the negative
associations will be transferred to the other product.

Symbolic meaning of consumption

Most of consumer behavior literature related to symbolic consumptions will

relate to product or an object as a symbolic when customer most preferred. For
instance, Levy (1959) mentioned that material objects are viewed as symbolic
when individuals focus on meanings beyond their tangible, physical
characteristics. Grubb and Grathwohl (1967, p. 24) also explained that products
are social tools, “serving as a means of communication between the individual
and his significant references”. Researchers in this study would like to
demonstrate, customer who experiencing the services also chose specific service
provider can be incorporated the relationship between negative symbolic
meanings and consumers’ pursuit of self-esteem in the social communication
process. As supported by Dittmar (1992), in order for consumer products and
brands to function as communication symbols, meanings must be socially
shared, and continuously produced and reproduced during social interactions.
Consumers can invest products and brands with either positive or negative
meanings (Sirgy et al., 1997).

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