Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Marketing (MRKT)

First Advisor

Mitchell Hamilton


Brand transgressions are defined as violations of the norms defined by the relationship between the brand and its consumers. In other words, it is when a brand takes an action that goes against what they promised their consumers, or what the consumers expected, based on the repeated interactions between the brand and the consumers. When brands are highly adopted by a very specific group of consumers, these controversial actions might give these consumers the idea that the brand is “cheating” on them, moving away from them and going against the image and personality that the brand has worked so hard to build. This causes a problem for brands that are trying to expand their target market, but still maintain the consumers that they have such a strong and positive relationship with.

In this project, I will analyze different instances when brands with a strong consumer-relationship to a very specific group have transgressed in the attempt of expanding their market and capturing the attention of other consumer groups as well. I will analyze the outcome of those actions, based on their previous consumer relationship strength and the consequent actions they took after the transgression. By analyzing consumer-brand relationships, keeping a brand current and other factors necessary to build a strong brand - such as a specific target market, brand personality, etc - I would like to find out if a it is possible for a brand that appeals to a single group of consumers to expand and target other groups as well, without losing their base consumers and their brand image. What actions should the brand take so that their consumers still feel taken care of instead of cheated on?

Included in

Marketing Commons