Nav: Home

Consumer, meet brand. Brand, meet consumer.

November 14, 2005

Humans forge relationships with just about everything they encounter: the car you coax up steep hills, that worn pair of shoes you wear on the weekends, and even your stove or refrigerator. But new research from the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research finds that these relationships can be both personal or businesslike.

"The results showed that when the relationship with a brand is communal in nature (friendship-like), consumers are faster and more accurate in recognizing broad and generalized features, such as style of a clothing brand; more likely to list these broad features on their own; and more accepting of a brand extension that is only vaguely related to the original product category," explain Pankaj Aggarwal and Sharmistha Law of the University of Toronto.

"However, when the relationship with the brand is exchange in nature (businesslike), consumers are faster and more accurate in recognizing very detailed and specific features, such as particular color or fabric of a clothing brand. They are more likely to list these nitty-gritty features on their own and are less willing to accept a brand extension unrelated to the original product category."

Aggarwal and Law stress perspective: the lenses through which consumers view the world affects our relationships with products. Sometimes we want and benefit from a more personal relationship that has both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. Other times, a more give-and-take relationship is preferred.

"This research has an important message for practitioners," conclude the authors. "It is not just important to be able to differentiate your brand anymore; it is critical to highlight features that consumers expect in that relationship."
-end-
Aggarwal, Pakaj and Sharmistha Law. "Role of relationship norms in processing brand information." Journal of Consumer Research, Dec 2005.

University of Chicago Press Journals

Related Consumers Articles:

What's in a name? For young Chinese consumers, it's about culture mixing
Younger, more cosmopolitan Chinese consumers tend to favor brand translations that keep both the sound and the meaning of the original name, says U. of I. business professor and branding expert Carlos J.
Why do consumers participate in 'green' programs?
From recycling to reusing hotel towels, consumers who participate in a company's 'green' program are more satisfied with its service, finds a new study co-led by a Michigan State University researcher.
Consumers care about carbon footprint
How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy?
Consumers have huge environmental impact
You won't make big cuts in your environmental impact by taking shorter showers or turning out the lights.
Consumers' preferences for foliage plant attributes
Experiments investigated the effect of plant attributes on consumers' likelihood of purchasing indoor foliage plants.
New study finds adult fresh pear consumers had a lower body weight than non-pear consumers
The epidemiologic study, led by Carol O'Neil of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, used a nationally representative analytic sample to examine the association of fresh pear consumption with nutrient intake, nutrient adequacy, diet quality, and cardiovascular risk factors in adults.
How much do consumers know about new sunscreen labels?
Sunscreen labels may still be confusing to consumers, with only 43 percent of those surveyed understanding the definition of the sun protection factor value, according to the results of a small study published in a research letter online by JAMA Dermatology.
Saving money: Do consumers spend less if they think about the future?
Why is it so hard for consumers to save money?
When are consumers more likely to rely on feelings to make decisions?
Why do some consumers make choices based on their feelings instead of rational assessments?
How are ordinary consumers transforming the fashion business?
One of the most important shifts of the 21st century is the ability of consumers to participate in markets they love such as music and fashion.

Related Consumers Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".