Brand is a many-sided concept and a huge country in range. It has been defined otherwise by assorted research workers in class of clip. The phenomenon of trade name has long been studied mostly because it has become one of the most outstanding constituents of the dominant civilization in modern-day life. In its simplest sense, trade name can be defined as the aggregation of perceptual experiences of a merchandise, service, thought or individual in the heads of consumers ( Fournier 1998 ) . It is besides an abstraction of some symbols, viz. repute, position and quality, and the marks that differentiate one from the other ( Hollenbeck and Zinkhan 2006 ) . There are multiple grounds into why consumers buy, consume or adhere to some peculiar trade names. Consumers might purchase or devour these peculiar trade names merely because of their physical characteristics and maps. Furthermore, many believe that consumers are utilizing and devouring trade names in order to be able express themselves and to build their self-concept and individualities through these trade names ( Aaker 1999, Belk 1988, Levy 1959, McCracken 1986 ) . Cova and Cova ( 2002 ) claims that consumers buy some peculiar trade names because of their associating value consequence or, as Fournier ( 1998 ) claims, consumers buy trade names in order to set up a loyal and an affect-laden relationship with them. However, consumers set up relationships non merely with trade names but besides with other web of consumers who use these peculiar trade names, called trade name communities ( McAlexander 2002, Muniz and O’Guinn 2001 ) .
Brand communities can be considered as a “ practical means through which persons can build some facets of their individualities in relation to societal webs that transcend geographic specialnesss and can take part in multinational duologues grounded in shared connexions to planetary consumer civilization. ” ( Thompson and Coskuner-Balli 2007 ) . Brand communities portion about the same constituents of traditional communities. Three most of import constituents of trade name communities have been contended by Muniz and O’Guinn ( 2001 ) ; shared consciousness, rites and traditions, and moral duties. These dimensions exist besides in the traditional communities. However, the most of import factors that distinguish trade name communities from traditional communities are their non-geographical bounded and time-space free contexts ( Hollenbeck and Zinkhan 2006 ) . Therefore, cyberspace and technological progresss non merely supply locales for consumers to retrace the many aspects of societal life but besides have a critical impact on these trade name communities ; both in the formation, keeping and proliferations procedures.
The same applies in anti-brand communities as good. Anti-brand communities are non-geographically bounded, time-space free, and quickly proliferating communities which besides contains these dimensions of shared consciousness, rites and traditions, and moral duty. It is a new consumer opposition and a new societal motion in our modern-day society ( Hollenbeck and Zinkhan 2005 ) . Today, there are legion anti-brand communities runing twenty four hours a twenty-four hours online. These communities are directed at some trade names and corporations, viz. Anti-McDonald, Anti-Nike, Anti-Starbucks, Anti-Walmart, Anti-Cocacola communities and the similar. These anti-brand communities are largely formed around the most popular and outstanding trade names with strong trade name equity. Anti-brand communities are a contemplation of trade name rejection and consumer opposition in a corporate degree. Consumer opposition besides exists in an single degree.
Particularly, with the cultural transmutations and technological progresss consumer turns form inactive consumers to active manufacturers. They are more involved and take part in life at big including concern procedures. They are more sceptered ( Shankar 2006 ) , more agent ( Eckhardt et al. 2006 ) , and more trade name literate ( Bengstton and Firat 2006 ) that can drop the masks of the trade names ( Dholakia and Zwick 2006 ) . This new function of consumers can give them to a legion ways. Some of them may prefer remaining as a inactive consumer, some may prefer set uping relationships with other consumers organizing around a commercial trade name through trade name communities, some may commandeer the trade names and add their ain significances and symbol into the trade names ( Wipperfurth 2005 ) , or some may decline this hegemonic market system and capitalist economy at the single degree or corporate degree by organizing, affecting and take parting in anti-brand societal motion largely through anti-brand communities. There are some research conducted good on anti-consumption ( Kozinets 2002, Kozinets and Handelman 2004, Lee et al. 2009, Binay 2005 ) , trade name rejection ( Sandikci and Ekici 2009 ) , consumer opposition ( Firat and Venkatesh 1995, Klein 2009, Lasn 1999, Holt 2002 ) , and trade name communities ( McAlexander 2002 ; Muniz and O’Guinn 2001 ) .
Even though these countries still need and require some research due to their many-sided natures, anti-brand communities phenomenon has merely late started to catch attending and the research been conducted with respect to it is scarce. Therefore, the cardinal intent of this conceptual paper is to look into and increase the apprehension of the anti-brand communities as a societal motion and its function in consumer opposition.
Consumer opposition and Anti-brand Communities
Not all consumers espouse and embrace trade names as they are taken for granted, and therefore they question the function of trade names in society, and they finally may develop some sort of single and/or societal hostility. Forming and take parting in anti-brand communities is a one manner of showing their societal hostility and opposition against trade names. Consumers may decline and defy trade names for many grounds and in assorted agencies. One of them is that consumers might avoid a peculiar trade name in order to avoid the unsought ego ( Ogilvie 1987 ) significances, carried by this trade name, to be attached themselves ( Lee et al. 2009 ) . Consumers may besides avoid trade names due to the fact that these consumers believe these peculiar trade names is a ground of some social jobs ( Iyer and Muncy 2009 ) , viz. environmental debasement and/or societal inequlity. The other ground could be that consumers may merely go disgruntled from that peculiar trade name and hence reject it. This indicates that this peculiar trade name serves under their outlooks and that outputs to disconfirmation and negative disconfirmation outputs to dissatisfaction ( Oliver 1980 ) and dissatisfaction may give to rejection with easiness. The other ground of trade name turning away could be the incompatibility of the values of the trade name and the values of the consumer. If a trade name is perceived as stand foring an unwanted trade name value for consumer, this peculiar trade name will most probably be avoided ( Lee et al. 2009 ) .
Consumer boycott is another illustration for consumer opposition and trade name rejection. Consumers might get down to halt purchasing from a peculiar trade name when some ideological incompatibilities occur between the trade name and the consumer therefore consumers decide to halt purchasing from that peculiar trade name until the trade name changes its policies. After the policy alterations, consumer may get down puting relationships with the trade name once more ( Hirschman 1970 ) . Other ground could be that consumers, with some counter-cultural stance, might show their antagonists to capitalist economy and oppressive market forces by cut downing their ingestion ( Penaloza and Price 1993 ) . The other ground occurs when market segments fragment into alone life style or subcultures of ingestion ( Firat and Venkatesh 1995 ) or even when subcultures themselves fragment and make a locale for consumers where they are empowered and make alternate ways of life and being for themselves ( Ulusoy and Firat 2010 ) .
Anti-brand communities indicate some differences from aforementioned trade name turning away and consumer opposition signifiers. This type of consumer opposition occurs largely as a recoil against capitalist economy and hegemonic market order ( Hollenbeck and Zinkhan 2006 ) . These communities normally take companies unethical patterns into consideration and effort to repair these issues by playing a societal militant function in order to salvage the homo and animate being rights, and to avoid some more environmental debasement. Besides, even though the dynamic dyadic relationships between the trade names and consumer are thought to convey equality and power balances ( Holt 2002 ) , the world is bespeaking a immense instabilities with the being of transnational and multinational corporations ( Hardt and Negri 2000 ) . Therefore, apart from aforementioned issues, equality, justness and autonomy are other issues that drama function in the outgrowth of anti-brand communities.
Consumer civilization is one of the most of import issues targeted and taken into consideration by anti-brand communities. Consumer civilization is problematized because it is interwoven into the really cloth of our mundane life and the civilization has become really advertising and trade name friendly. Therefore, all aspects of civilization has begun to go around around the merchandising, purchasing, advancing and devouring the merchandises and services along with the experiences, images and significances coming with them. Consumers are forced to conform to the individualities established by sellers and advertizers. Since most of the societal dealingss have been constructed through this paradigm, consumers, who do n’t desire to be excluded or discriminated, experience the demand to conform, for those who could n’t afford this conformance, experience oppressed and depressed ( Firat and Dholakia 1998 ) . This manipulative, oppressive and know aparting consumer civilization, that has been constructed chiefly by advertisement, selling, and branding activities, besides brought Forth and generated its oppositions. Anti-brand communities can be considered as one of them.
These consumers, representing these communities, are defying this prefabricated individualities that they are forced to conform through trade names ; the market hegemony under capitalist economic system that is spreading and ruling all aspects of societal life ; unreal and shallow consumer civilization in its entireness ; and unethical patterns conducted and disseminated by greedy corporations around the universe by disregarding the human rights, animate being rights and by working the natural beginnings and detrimenting the environment and ecology. Most of the new societal motions emerged as a reaction to the values of consumer society, consumer civilization, corporate greed, capitalist economy, market economic system, and profit-oriented and mere economic interested concerns because this market hegemony is ruling all aspects of life and act as a cultural authorization in our modern-day society. In the following subdivision, anti-brand motions will be examined through a lens of theories of societal motion.
Social Motions and Anti-brand Communities
Social motion is a many-sided and dynamic phenomenon and it has broad assortment of significances, hence, it has been conceptualized otherwise at different times by assorted bookmans. Social motion is referred to “ a corporate signifier of action to dispute the development of political and economic power and to alter the political and market establishments. ” ( Binay 2005:14 ) Social, political, and personal transmutations are at the nucleus of new societal motions ( Hollenbeck and Zinkhan 2006 ) . In its simplest sense, societal motion refers to collective cause and discord for a societal alteration. In its broadest sense, societal motion refers to a continuum where one extreme being to the full bureaucratized and officially organized motions concentrating on institutional and political alteration, and the other utmost being extremely diffuse, decentralized and fragmented motions devoid of any bureaucratism and formality concentrating more on cultural and lifestyle-based alteration ( Haenfler 2006 ) . While the former has been called as old or traditional societal motions, the latter has been called as new societal motions. For the latter, Haenfler ( 2006:61 ) claims that “ a strong corporate individuality is the foundation of diffuse motions, supplying construction, a footing for committedness, and guidelines for engagement. ” In this spirit, new societal motions can be considered as more reformer than radical ( Cohen 1985 ) and taking purpose at societal reproduction ( Habermas 1981 ) .
The advocates of new societal motions challenged the formal, bureaucratic, stable, homogenous and class-distinction orientated constructions of traditional societal motions that have focused on simply outer political and institutional alteration. Harmonizing to this comparatively new school of idea, traditional societal motions can non adequately explain today ‘s modern-day new societal motions because it has been claimed that new societal motions go around around the constituents of political orientation, life style, cause, single and corporate individuality, and civilization ( Buechler 1995, Melucci 1985, Touraine 1985 ) , viz. civil rights motion, homosexual and sapphic rights, anti-racist motion, anti-war/anti-military and peace motion, womes ‘s motion, feminist motion, green/environmentalist ‘s motion, carnal rights motion, human rights motion, labour rights motion and the similar.
As Haenfler ( 2006:61 ) provinces, new societal motions theorists “ have brought renewed attending to motion civilization, the function of expressive action, how motions construct an political orientation, the connexion between single and corporate individuality, and how participants interact at the micro degree of motion activity. ” Identity facet of the societal motions has gained broad attending because as Haenfler ( 2006:80 ) points out “ motions are more than organisations raising financess, keeping presentations, and buttonholing politicians. They include individualities that shape people ‘s lives in the most personal ways, while at the same time doing a corporate statement. ” He besides states that this nexus between single and corporate individualities will probably to increase the members ‘ committedness to the cause. The features of new societal motions involve protagonism for individual causes, group individuality, and single endurance ( e.g. , green motion, new peace motion ) . Johnston and Lio ( 1998 ) claim that with the waxing of postmodernity, societal motions are going more widespread and weaving into the really cloth of mundane life with the cultural alterations and transmutations in the modern-day society. They besides set Forth that lifestyle-based, individuality and cultural challenges are more effectual than mere political challenges in conveying about societal alteration and doing the universe a better topographic point to populate in.
Corporate individuality is important for all motions but since new societal motions supply a locale for cultural alteration it additions even greater importance because without corporate individuality there will be no sense of belonging and a connexion among the members of the motion, hence a societal motion will hold “ no formal construction to guarantee continuity, consistence, action, and committedness ” ( Haenfler 2006:195 ) . The success and the emerging grounds of new societal motions lies behind the fact that these motions are less structured, non-hierarchical, non-authoratarian, non-bureaucratic, participatory, autonomius, life style oriented, political orientation oriented, and most significantly ( bomber ) civilization oriented. Further, these motions involve moral concern and most significantly provide connexion between personal and corporate individuality.
This corporate individuality can be said to be a challenge to the dominant order because it is besides a reaction against the alienating and exteriorizing individuality dictated by capitalist market order ( Ulusoy and Firat 2010 ) . Therefore, non-structured, culture-based new societal motions may besides convey important societal challenges as do more formal, organized, bureaucratic motions. Additionally, they besides pose a meaningful cultural challenge ( Haenfler 2006 ) . New societal motions bring symbolic challenges to the dominant civilization ( Binay 2005, Melucci 1985 ) by decrypting the mainstream codifications of the civilization. However, new societal motions can non explicate all aspects of a societal motion.
Harmonizing to Eyerman ( 2002 ) , societal motions are locales for political and cultural experimentation and, repeating Habermas, a agency for consumers to take their lifeworlds back from the market hegemony and to protect them. That is, societal motions show a locale for consumer to be an agent in societal life. Consumption involves both cultural and political challenges. In order to be able to alter civilization and political relations, both types of societal motions are necessary. While societal motions are supplying locales for people to build single and corporate individualities and disputing dominant cultural codifications and values, they can besides look for equality, justness, autonomy by disputing the political and economic constructions. Corporate individuality empowers consumers and forms and gives intending to their personal actions where personal realizations and societal transmutation are complementing each other in the mode of doing a universe a better topographic point to populate. Anti-brand communities involve features from both traditional/old and new societal motions. Similar to hybrid consumer militants ( Firat 2004 ) , anti-brand communities can supply consumers a platform to concept and negociate their single and corporate individualities and at the same clip cause for a societal alteration. Therefore, members of anti-brand communities are both functioning for the cause of the motion and besides basking their experience and being in that motion through building corporate individuality.
Many believe that opposition is ineffectual and all attempts given for opposition merely feed the system and do it stronger ( Heath and Potter 2004, Holt 2002 ) , this may partly accurate to some extent for subcultural, countercultural, and societal motion opposition signifiers including anti-brand communities. For case, anti-brand communities provide a free information beginning for brands/companies, that is, they may work like market research consultancy house for free that can assist concern to better its maps. In line with this, Hollenbeck and Zinkhan ( 2006: 484 ) province that “ the cyberspace provides an unfastened forum for treatment about branding activities and it besides serves as a free selling research tool ” . However, these antagonist communities are besides disputing some critical constituents of the construction of hegemonic capitalist market economic system. It poses a meaningful societal and cultural challenge to an alienating and exteriorizing trait of modern capitalist economic systems by building corporate individualities and corporate behaviours. They may hold an impact on some socio-cultural and political issues ; such as racism, sexism, human rights, animate being rights, bar of environmental debasement ( e.g. green motion is one of the most of import and quickly turning motion today ) and the similar. Social motions may non be conveying revolution but they are supplying a locale for consumers to contend the consumer civilization and the political orientation of ingestion and make their ain options ; such as voluntary simpleness, downshifting, simple life, eco-communities, etc.
Therefore far, these motions pose a challenge to the dominant system from the interior with progressive stairss for interior alteration, but it may besides present a challenge to the full system with a focal point on external societal and political alterations. Since such motions with their reforms are besides thought to be increasing the societal consciousness at big, which is necessary for a revolution, it can besides be considered as a agency to an terminal.