Consumer brand engagement on social media in the COVID-19 pandemic: the roles of country-of-origin and consumer animosity

Tianfu Wang, Yam B. Limbu, Xing Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic unprecedentedly shocks the market. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on brand engagement across country-of-origin (COO) and country-of-market (COM). To address the gap, this study examines how the spread of the COVID-19 affects consumer brand engagement on social media for global brands through the mechanisms of the COO and consumer animosity. Design/methodology/approach: The authors collect consumer engagement activity data from Facebook for eight global smartphone brands and match it with the COVID-19 statistics. Ordinary least square (OLS) models are used to estimate the impact on global brands brought by the spread of the COVID-19. Findings: The results show that consumer brand engagement decreases for all brands in a COM as the number of confirmed COVID-19 new cases increases in the COM. Consumer brand engagement decreases for a brand across all COM as the number of confirmed COVID-19 new cases increases in the brand’s COO. If a brand’s COO is imputed for the pandemic, its consumer brand engagement will receive additional negative impacts across all COM. Originality/value: This study enriches the COO literature by showing how the spread of a pandemic affects consumer brand engagement via COO and discovers the moderating role of consumer animosity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Interactive Marketing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Consumer animosity
  • Consumer brand engagement
  • Country-of-market
  • Country-of-origin
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Social media

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