When Narrative Brands End: The Impact of Narrative Closure and Consumption Sociality on Loss Accommodation
Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (April 2014), 1039-62
24 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2015 Last revised: 22 Nov 2015
Date Written: 2014
This research emically documents consumers’ experience of the end of a favorite television series. Anchored in the domain of evolving narrative brands, of which TV series are an archetypal example, this work draws from narrative theory, brand relationship theory and basic research on interpersonal loss to document the processes of loss accommodation. We triangulate across data sources and methods (extended participant observation, long interview and online forum analysis) to unfold the processes of loss accommodation triggered by brand discontinuation. Accommodation processes and post-withdrawal relationship trajectories depend upon the nature and closural force of the narrative inherent to the brand but also the sociality that surrounds its consumption. Consumption sociality allows access to transitive and connective resources that facilitate the processes of accommodation during critical junctures in consumer-brand relationships.
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