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ABSTRACT - It is critical to the survival and growth of a company to build and maintain a long-term relationship between a brand and its target customers. The present research examines the emotional process by which a consumer-brand relationship is formed.
It focuses on the potential effects on the relationship process of the congruity between brand personality and consumer self-concept. The results of this study show that congruity between brand personality and consumer self-concept kindles such emotions as love, pride, and joy, and ultimately fosters a long-term consumer-brand relationship through brand attachment or self-esteem-building process.
The implications of the results for researchers and marketers are discussed. However, it is not yet clear how the congruity between consumer self-concept and brand image influences product evaluations. Thus, the focus of this study is to examine the processes by which the consumer-brand fit determines product evaluations, or more specifically, consumer-brand relationships.
There has been a considerable amount of interest in the concept of brand personality and how it relates to the self-congruity effect Belk the extended self concept.
Brand personality is defined as a set of human characteristics associated with a brand Aaker In other words, a brand is considered as an active relationship partner rather than a passive exchange object, and is endowed with human characteristics Fournier In this study, self-congruity effect is examined in relation with the concept of brand personality on the basis of past research.
In sum, the purpose of our study is to empirically investigate the psychological processes involved in the formation of a positive relationship with a brand and explain the role that self-congruity plays in those processes.
We focus especially on such constructs as emotion, which consumers experience as a result of self-congruity and brand commitment, a fundamental determinant of long-term relationships Gundlach, Achrol, and Mentzer Also examined in our study are the roles of brand attachment and self-esteem.
Consumers tend to like, prefer and ultimately maintain a long-term relationship with a brand which has an image consistent with themselves Aaker ; Fournier ; Keller The self-congruity effect on a long-term brand relationship can explained in relation with the concept of commitment, which has been considered to be a crucial element in the formation of a successful long-term relationship Gundlach, Achrol, and Mentzer ; Morgan and Hunt Researchers have defined commitment as "an implicit or explicit pledge of relational continuity between exchange partners Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh " or "an enduring desire to maintain a valued relationship Morgan and Hunt Existing literature suggests that consumers go through one of the following processes when they form a long-term relationship with a brand.
Consumer attachment toward a brand is a strong affective concept Fournier Consumers become attached to a specific brand in the process of defining and maintaining their sense of self Kleine, Kleine, and Allen The concept of attachment and its formation have been dealt with in the context of infant behavior Bowlby, as well as in the area of adult relationship, especially romantic relationship behavior Collins and Read ; Feeney and Noller ; Hazan and Shaver The concept has been also studied in explaining the formation of consumer-brand relationships Fournier Attachment is basically te process of developing an emotional bond Collins and Readwhich is facilitated by consistent and repeated experiences between relationship partners Perry It can be measured on the basis of dependence, anxiety, and closeness Collins and Read Attachment provides psychological comfort and pleasure, and its loss evokes strong distress Perry The formation of a romantic love between adults can be explained in terms of the attachment process; the more secure the attachment that lovers have, the more positive aspects of love they experience Hazan and Shaver Fournier also describes love and passion as part of the affective attachment involved in the consumer-brand relationship, and reports that attachment is a condition of emotional dependence involving separation anxiety and irreplaceability.
Self-esteem consists of self-appraisal and reflected appraisal Laverie, Kleine, and Kleine It is suggested that by using a brand with self-congruent personality, the consumer expresses his or her own values leading to self-appraisal and goes through a social adjustment process resulting in reflected appraisal at the same time Hogg, Cox, and Keeling For example, self-esteem is closely associated with the positive consumption emotions of pride and joy or happiness.
Pride itself is sometimes regarded as an attitude, but is usually conceptualized as an emotion induced by a high self-esteem. Of the two types of pride, the latter, in its broader meaning, is referred to as a source of a high self-esteem Lea and Webley Joy or happiness is another emotion involved in self-esteem Luce, Payne, and Bettman It often occurs when the consumer uses a brand with self-congruent personality.
It is closely related to materialism and such concepts as satisfaction and well-being in life Richins ; Richins and Dawson Likewise, in the infant-parent relationship, similarity of personality or temperament increases the extent of emotional bond Perry Experimenting with different brands enables consumers to expand and develop a variety of self-concepts Belk Through the preliminary research, which was based on the psychology and marketing literature concerning attachment types e.
The more attached consumers are to a brand, the more dependent they are on it and the more anxious about it when unable to use it e. When the separation ends, consumers may feel joy Chaudhuri and Holbrook ; Hazan and Shaver and more intense love Fournier A variety of evidence is presented supporting this simple and compelling premise.
Related streans of research are identified and drawn upon in devetopJng this concept and implications are derived for consumer behavior. Because the construct of exterxJed self involves consumer behavior rather than buyer behavior.
This is a list of exoskeleton companies, businesses, start-ups and non-profits that have or are actively pursuing exoskeleton, exosuit, and wearable robotics products as of . Possessions and the Extended Self RUSSELL W.
BELK* Our possessions are a major contributor to and reflection of our identities. A variety of evidence is presented supporting this simple and compelling premise. Related streans of research are identified and drawn upon in devetopJng this concept and implications are derived for consumer behavior.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. Extended Self in a Digital World Author(s): Russell W. Belk Source: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 40, No. 3 (October ), pp. Published by: The University of Chicago Press concept of the extended self, there were already personal.
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Nov 18, · Marketing Research Seminar: Digital Consumption and the Extended Self By Russell W. Belk (Part 1) Self concept, self identity, and.