Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money

Date:
November 4, 2010
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Can you forge an emotional bond with a brand so strong that, if forced to buy a competitor's product, you suffer separation anxiety? According to a new study the answer is yes. In fact, that bond can be strong enough that consumers are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy and reputation to maintain their attachment to that brand.

Can you forge an emotional bond with a brand so strong that, if forced to buy a competitor's product, you suffer separation anxiety? According to a new study from the USC Marshall School of Business, the answer is yes. In fact, that bond can be strong enough that consumers are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy and reputation to maintain their attachment to that brand.

"Brand Attachment and Brand Attitude Strength: Conceptual and Empirical Differentiation of Two Critical Brand Equity Drivers," a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Marketing, is co-authored by USC Marshall's C. Whan Park, Joseph A. DeBell Professor of Marketing; Deborah J. MacInnis, Vice Dean of Research and Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Professor of Business Administration; and Joseph Priester, Associate Professor of Marketing; along with Andreas B. Eisingerich, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Imperial College (London) Business School; and Dawn Iacobucci, E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Marketing, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, indicates that brand attachment has much stronger impact on consumers than previously believed. In fact, the study suggests, brand attachment can even be strong enough to induce separation anxiety when favorite brands are replaced.

The study advances existing brand research in consumer psychology and goes beyond the existing paradigm, indicating that traditional measurements such as brand attitude strength do not adequately explain consumers' intense loyalties to the brands they love -- that they fail to explain how brands capture "consumers' hearts and minds." Brand attachment, the authors claim, does exist, is predicated on a brand/self-relationship and can better explain what drives consumer behavior and their loyalty and commitment to the brands.

It is brand attachment that explains consumers' devotion to the iPod, fans' intense reaction at celebrity deaths and the torment of teenagers who are denied their favorite brand of jeans. Through brand attachment, the USC Marshall study suggests, consumers see the brands as an extension of themselves.

Study

The authors first developed a two-factor brand attachment scale that examines brand-self connection and brand prominence, groundbreaking distinctions made by the study. The authors then tested the scale by surveying consumers of several prominent brands: Quaker Oats oatmeal, iPod, and a university. Using the results to fine-tune the scale, the authors tested their hypotheses through a series of four studies: the impact of brand attachment on consumers' purchase behavior, their likelihood to engage in "difficult-to-enact" behavior, brand purchase share (or the real estate the brand has within the consumer's heart and mind compared to competitive brands), and brand need share (the use of the brand compared to brands in other product categories that could be substituted).

Findings

Overall, the research suggests, the greater the attachment, the greater sacrifices a consumer will make to connect with or remain connected to the brand.

The study's key findings include:

  • The more strongly a consumer's attachment to a brand, the more willing they are to forsake personal resources to maintain an ongoing relationship with the brand. They are willing to engage in difficult behaviors -- "those that require investments of time, money and energy, so as to maintain or deepen a brand relationship."
  • Highly attached consumers are more motivated to devote their own resources in the process of self-expansion, including paying more, defending the brand, derogating alternatives, and devoting more time to the brand through brand communities and brand promotion through social media.
  • Attachment represented by both brand-self-connection and prominence is a significantly better predictor than brand attitude strength of actual behaviors.

Implications

Based on their research, the authors suggest that managers have much to gain through efforts aimed at building stronger brand attachment. In addition, managers should incorporate brand attachment in brand-evaluation matrices, which would provide a more detailed picture of how current brand-management efforts relate to future sales.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Whan Park et al. Brand Attachment and Brand Attitude Strength: Conceptual and Empirical Differentiation of Two Critical Brand Equity Drivers. Journal of Marketing, November 2010

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154549.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2010, November 4). A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154549.htm
University of Southern California. "A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101104154549.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) The New York City Police Department has ended a program that once kept tabs on the city's muslim population. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins