Customer Irritation turned Brand Irritation

Pushyamitra Joshi | April 02,2012 10:12 am IST

Are poor services irritating you? Is less and wrong information given about the products or services by the marketing people made you angry? If your answer is yes for both the questions and it affects your next purchase decision not to buy that particular brand and its sub-brand then the company is suffering from brand irritation. Brand irritation means a negative image created about a particular brand or company in the mind of a customer due to his/her bad experience with products or services or sales personnel behaviour and it reflects his/her decision in not buying other product/services of the same company or brand under the umbrella.

The term brand irritation defines the degree of consumer dissatisfaction turned irritation towards a particular brand and other brands in the portfolio and how it negatively affects the brand as a whole. It also discusses the various factors responsible for customer dissatisfaction turned into brand irritation. It involves the study of brand recognition, consumer behaviour and other factors like marketing and promotional factors to understand the concept. Brand irritation occurs due to two major factors and affects the brand performance negatively.


These factors are:

1.Wrong strategic moves (From top management perspective): Wrong strategic move means when top management loses its focus by neglecting mission statement (Purpose of existence) and customers need. It creates a communication gap in between company and customers. This gap widens and ultimately customer irritation turned into brand irritation.


2.Intentional mistakes done by workforce (Lower management perspective): When workforce especially sales force at lower management is over ambitious to complete the sales target by misguiding customers or workforce is less committed to solve the problem of customers, create a negative image of the company or brand.

These two factors are the major factors which again divided into various sub factors.

Factors or causes behind brand irritation:

                                         Brand irritation  (Top management Perspective)

Outsourced customer care             Avoiding customer needs                          Unfair strategic moves 

1.Outsourced/ No customer care: Outsourced customer care or no customer care is one of the leading factor behind the customer irritation. Outsourced customer care is unable to provide the expected information and solution to the immediate problem faced by the customer caused irritation. Sometimes customer feels that it is just a formality from the part of the company to engage customer not to solve the problem.

2.Avoiding customer needs: It is one of the biggest mistakes sometimes done by top management by creating marketing myopia. Top management unable to understand the needs of customers and trying to apply their feelings and biased opinion in business. It again creates a gap in between company and customer. Offering poor product mix, overpriced products, poor after sales service etc. are some examples behind customer irritation.

3.Unfair strategic moves:
Sometimes top management of the company apply some unfair means to increase revenue by misleading customers through ambiguous messages. It is one of the most concerned areas where customers get irritated easily. Very stringent operation processes, unethical advertisements, hidden cost and charges are some of the examples.

                    Brand irritation  (Lower management perspective)




1.Mis-selling/Hiding information: Mis guide to customers about product and services provided by the company or hiding important information is one of the important factors behind the brand irritation faced by the customers.


2.Lack of commitment of sales personnel: Lack of sincere efforts from the sales personnel to provide proper services to its customers. It shows the lack of commitment of the sales personnel towards its job and becomes another factor behind brand irritation.

3.Poor after sales service: Poor after sales service is another factor behind brand irritation where companys employee is unable to provide proper after sales service or replacement of the product to its customers.



Brand irritation means a negative image created about a particular brand in the mind of a consumer due to their bad experience with the product or service or sales personnel behaviour and it reflects their decision in not buying other product/service of the same brand company or other brands under the umbrella.

Short term business
(Case Example to understand the problem)
One fine day Mr Pushpendra a newly recruited Unit sales manager of reputed general insurance company ACCI, was discussing with his boss Mr Anshul Kumar about new business development. Mr Anshul (State head) was giving instructions to Pushpendra for channel development strategies that he should first start contacting two wheeler distributors because car dealers and commercial vehicle dealers were already contacted by another Unit sales manager Mr Vignesh. A huge potential was there with two wheelers dealers in terms of number of policies and add on products.

Keeping in mind that channel business required proper attention, relationship management and constant follow-ups Pushpendra started mapping the potential distributors to start new business. After identifying and mapping he came to know that only one two wheeler dealer named Zala motors, a very reputed dealer of Nagda town is not doing business with the company. He immediately approached the office of Zala motors to meet the owner to start business with his company. After reaching to the showroom he just gave his visiting card to the receptionist to let Mr Zala know that he wanted to meet him. After seeing the card of Pushpendra, receptionist told him that Mr Zala is not interested in meeting with him. Pushpendra got shocked and thinking that what the hell is this? Is his name does not soothing to the receptionist or is there something wrong written in the visiting card? After controlling his emotions he just asked gently Maam Is there anything wrong with my name or visiting card? Receptionist replied Yes, Mr Pushpendra our boss instructed us not to entertain any person from ACCI Bank. Pushpendra: But maam I am from ACCI general insurance company not from the bank. Receptionist: Whatever sir, our boss instructed not to entertain ACCI Company.


Pushyamitra Joshi is presently enrolled as a research scholar in Amity School of Rural Management, Amity University. He is a member of advisory and academic council at Institute of Management & Development action (IMD), Indore. Prior to IMD; Pushyamitra has 5 years of extensive work experience in marketing, sales...