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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Self-Construal, Reference Groups, and Brand Meaning

Jennifer Edson Escalas, James R. Bettman
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/497549 378-389 First published online: 1 December 2005

Abstract

We propose that consumers purchase brands in part to construct their self-concepts and, in so doing, form self-brand connections. We focus on reference groups as a source of brand meaning. Results from two studies show that brands with images consistent with an ingroup enhance self-brand connections for all consumers, whereas brands with images that are consistent with an outgroup have a stronger negative effect on independent versus interdependent consumers. We propose that this differential effect is due to stronger self-differentiation goals for consumers with more independent self-concepts. We also find greater effects for more symbolic than for less symbolic brands.

  • Brand Equity/Extensions
  • Group/Interpersonal Influences
  • Self-concept
  • Symbolic Consumption/Semiotics
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