The power of pride

March 29, 2005

A shopping experience can be a good thing. So good, in fact, that you might leave a store with a level of pride at having found a good deal. It would seem logical that you would certainly return to that store for more, right? Well, not necessarily, say the authors of an article in the March 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead, it seems that the type of experience that led to that pride is more important than the feeling of pride itself.

"A common assumption in marketing is that positive consumption-related emotions stimulate subsequent positive behaviors, such as repurchase at a particular store," say Maria Louro, Rik Pieters, and Marcel Zeelenberg, (Tilburg University in The Netherlands).

But, there is an important distinction when it comes to the positive emotions that elicit a pride response. "For example, a consumer could see his/her success in negotiating a discount as a way to gain money (promotion pride) or to avoid paying extra money (prevention pride)," the authors explain. "Contrary to common thinking in marketing that positive emotions are generally conducive to favorable behavioral intentions, pride can reduce consumers' repurchase intentions."

This research invites new understanding of what factors play a role in repurchasing decisions by consumers. It is now extremely important to consider the role of promotion versus prevention pride in order to predict what a consumer might do.

"Our research shows that, in high pride, consumers with a promotion focus consider current information as sufficient to make a decision, whereas consumers with a prevention focus consider that obtaining additional information is necessary to make a decision."
Negative Returns on Positive Emotions: The Influence of Pride and Self-Regulatory Goals on Repurchase Decisions. By MARIA J. LOURO, RIK PIETERS, and MARCEL ZEELENBERG. © 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. - Vol. 31 - March 2005

University of Chicago Press Journals

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