Purpose – The objective is to describe a marketing approach used by Volvo in the Australian marketplace. It appears to be a rare approach and could be perceived to some extent as being “masochistic”.
Design/methodology/approach – The research is based upon a case study. The term “masochistic marketing” is introduced.
Findings – The “masochistic marketing” approach applied by Volvo in Australia should be seen as a process. It is dependent upon the outcome of a series of cause and effect relationships.
Research limitations/implications – The masochistic marketing approach may be divided into four cause-related phases, all of which create a dualistic outcome of either positive or negative effect-chains in respect to the corporate image in the marketplace and society.
Practical implications – A masochistic marketing approach is a high-risk venture. It is a challenging and demanding marketing process, because it plays on the humiliation of the corporate image itself. The core idea of the masochistic marketing approach violates, or at least appears to oppose, the fundaments of marketing.
Originality/value – Masochistic marketing is not recommended to be used as a common approach, unless a series of events has turned the corporate image in the marketplace into something that is highly undesirable and a stigma.
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