Introducing the Concept of Brand Appropriation Through Optics Wars

Lajante M., Ladhari R.

9th International Conference on Research on National Brand and Private Label Marketing, NB and PL 2022, Barcelona, Spain, 27 - 28 June 2022, pp.85-88 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-06581-1_11
  • City: Barcelona
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.85-88
  • Keywords: Alt-right movement, Brand appropriation, Brand image, Moral emotion, Optics wars, Political consumerism
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.Brand appropriation through optics wars (hereafter BATOW) is a new market phenomenon. It refers to alt-right groups hijacking a brand to enhance their appearance and establish a group aesthetic to convey their values (e.g., “Proud Boys” appeared in public with Fred Perry’s black and yellow polo shirts during the last US election). BATOW is particularly harmful to hijacked brands because it affects their positioning, image, and equity. However, this market phenomenon has not yet been conceptualized nor investigated in marketing, and empirical research is needed to understand better the damaging effects of BATOW on brand image and target consumers ‘attitudes’ and behaviors. This ongoing research assumes that BATOW elicits righteous anger as a negative moral emotion among brands' target consumers, who develop an altered brand image, negative attitude toward the brand, and corrective actions such as negative word-of-mouth and boycott. Our assumptions are tested through an online questionnaire and ongoing data collection. Results will be presented and discussed at the time of the conference.