Research Alert


Newswise — Brands that seek to serve stigmatized markets are frequently targeted with activism by stigmatizers who hold discrediting beliefs about the products, practices and/or people associated with such markets. Drawing on an inductive analysis of a large set of qualitative data in the halal food and beverage market, we identify three triggers that make activism by stigmatizers more likely to occur: stigma multiplicity, identity threat to stigmatizers, and ambiguity in targeting. Findings show that the nature of such activism is territorial as stigmatizers claim market ownership. We identify three forms of this territorial activism: patrolling the market boundaries, punishing the insurgents, and projecting identity threats beyond the market. Our study contributes to the market systems literature and to theories of identity threat, ownership, and territoriality. It further proposes a number of strategic options for companies that are being, or may expect to become, the targets of activist stigmatizers.

Journal Link: Journal of Business Research

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Journal of Business Research