Brand afterlife: Transference to alternate brands following corporate failure

Cristel Antonia Russell, Hope Jensen Schau, Paul Bliese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When companies fail and withdraw their brands from the marketplace, consumers may retain positive affect and abiding loyalty to discontinued brands. This research, anchored in the extant brand relationship literature, introduces the concept of transference from psychiatry to explore the ways in which consumers’ continuing relationships with a defunct brand impact the relational trajectories with competing and substitute brands in the marketplace. A unique study was conducted in New Zealand. The Georgie Pie brand was purchased and killed by McDonald's, leaving distraught consumers and room for a new competitor, Burger King, to enter the marketplace. The ways in which competitors replaced Georgie Pie differed by geographic region, and an analysis by region revealed that, under the right market conditions, transference of allegiance from the dead brand to competitor alternatives is possible, even toward the corporation deemed guilty for the failure of the beloved brand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Blame
  • Company failure
  • Consumer perceptions
  • Consumer-brand relationships
  • Field study
  • Market entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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