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When Brands Break Consumers’ Hearts: How to Earn Consumers’ Forgiveness after a Brand Betrayal


  • Johanna Eckerbom
  • Frida Andersson
  • Johanna Allard

Summary, in English

Title: When Brands Break Consumers’ Hearts: How to Earn Consumers’ Forgiveness after a Brand Betrayal
Seminar Date: 4th of June 2020
Course: BUSN39 Degree Project in Global Marketing
Authors: Johanna Allard, Frida Andersson, Johanna Eckerbom
Supervisor: Javier Cenamor
Keywords: Brand Betrayal, Brand Management, Consumer Relationships, Consumer Behavior, Consumer Forgiveness

Purpose: This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of consumer reactions to the concept of brand betrayal. We also aim to investigate whether the consumer-brand connection, the brand's reputation prior to the betrayal, the reveal of the betrayal and the types of compensation offered after the betrayal have an effect on consumers’ reaction to the betrayal.

Methodology: To fulfill the purpose of our study, we are utilizing a quantitative method with a deductive approach based on a positivist epistemological position. A standard multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the collected data.

Theoretical Perspective: This research has focused on literature concerning brand betrayal, possible consumer reactions to brand betrayal and other factors that might influence the outcome of a brand betrayal. These concepts have been linked together to facilitate our study of brand management before and after such a betrayal has transpired.

Empirical Data: The empirical material was collected through an online survey that received 185 unique responses. The sample included students from Lund University and the survey was distributed via email.

Conclusion: Our thesis concludes that consumer-brand connection, brand reputation, the reveal of the brand betrayal, as well as types of compensation has a significant effect on the consumer choosing to forgive a brand after a betrayal. The factor that had the most significance was types of compensation.

Practical Implications: This study provides business managers with suggestions on how to manage the brand before and after consumers have experienced a betrayal. It provides suggestions concerning the differing significance of certain factors and what the brand should do to save the relationship with affected consumers.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (one year)


  • Business and Economics


  • Brand Betrayal
  • Brand Management
  • Consumer Relationships
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Consumer Forgiveness


  • Javier Cenamor