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 from Brightsurf:

When consumers trust AI recommendations--or resist them
The key factor in deciding how to incorporate AI recommenders is whether consumers are focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) or on the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).

Do consumers enjoy events more when commenting on them?
Generating content increases people's enjoyment of positive experiences.

Why consumers think pretty food is healthier
People tend to think that pretty-looking food is healthier (e.g., more nutrients, less fat) and more natural (e.g., purer, less processed) than ugly-looking versions of the same food.

How consumers responded to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for laying out the different threats that consumers face, and that consumers must prepare themselves for a constantly shifting landscape moving forward.

Is less more? How consumers view sustainability claims
Communicating a product's reduced negative attribute might have unintended consequences if consumers approach it with the wrong mindset.

In the sharing economy, consumers see themselves as helpers
Whether you use a taxi or a rideshare app like Uber, you're still going to get a driver who will take you to your destination.

Helping consumers in a crisis
A new study shows that the central bank tool known as quantitative easing helped consumers substantially during the last big economic downturn -- a finding with clear relevance for today's pandemic-hit economy.

'Locally grown' broccoli looks, tastes better to consumers
In tests, consumers in upstate New York were willing to pay more for broccoli grown in New York when they knew where it came from, Cornell University researchers found.

Should patients be considered consumers?
No, and doing so can undermine efforts to promote patient-centered health care, write three Hastings Center scholars in the March issue of Health Affairs.

Consumers choose smartphones mostly because of their appearance
The more attractive the image and design of the telephone, the stronger the emotional relationship that consumers are going to have with the product, which is a clear influence on their purchasing decision.

Read More: Consumers News and Consumers Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.