Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Consumer-to-consumer conflicts and brand moderation strategies during COVID-19 service failures: a framework for international marketers

Dineva, Denitsa ORCID:, Breitsohl, Jan, Roschk, Holger and Hosseinpour, Masoumeh 2022. Consumer-to-consumer conflicts and brand moderation strategies during COVID-19 service failures: a framework for international marketers. International Marketing Review
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of Consumer-to-consumer conflicts and brand moderation strategies during COVID-19 service failures - A framework for international marketers.pdf] PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 6 September 2023 due to copyright restrictions.

Download (645kB)


Purpose: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one dark social-media phenomenon in particular has experienced a significant rise: consumer-to-consumer (C2C) conflicts, i.e., consumers who verbally attack each other in response to COVID-19 service failures. The aim of this paper is to uncover the sources of such conflicts and to gain an insight into the corresponding conflict moderation strategies that international brands adopt. Design/Methodology/Approach: Our methodology consists of non-participatory netnographic observations of 13 online brand communities (OBCs) on Facebook, using a purposeful sampling approach and a hybrid thematic analysis. Findings: The paper identifies five C2C conflict sources: brand attack, brand dissatisfaction, brand skepticism, brand contention, and brand defense; these are then classified as having either an individualistic (self-oriented) or collectivistic (other-oriented) orientation. We also uncover several moderation strategies: non-engaging, automated, bolstering, asserting (direct, indirect), and informing (factual, empathetic, apologetic), which are broadly categorized into two levels based on their passive versus active approach and authoritative versus cooperative orientation. The paper further highlights that brands adapt their moderation strategies to specific sources of C2C conflicts, thereby producing a range of OBC outcomes. Originality: We offer a novel framework to international marketing research, consisting of C2C conflict sources and corresponding moderation strategies that take place in response to service failures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These insights, in turn, inform international marketers about new ways of transforming the dark side of OBCs into a source of competitive advantage based on real-world brand practice. Practical implications: Our empirically informed framework comprising sources of undesirable C2C conflict and brand moderation strategies offers a practical tool that can aid marketing managers in nurturing civil customer-to-customer engagement and interactive behaviors in their OBCs. By adopting our framework, brand and marketing practitioners can tailor their communication strategies towards different sources of C2C conflict and minimize their adverse consequences, thus, fostering an overall constructive OBC engagement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0265-1335
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 6 September 2022
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2022 21:10

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics