Coke vs. Pepsi: Brand compatibility, relationship power, and life satisfaction
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Individuals often evaluate, purchase, and consume brands in the presence of others, including close others. Yet relatively little is known about the role brand preferences play in relationships. In the present research, the authors explore how the novel concept of brand compatibility, defined as the extent to which individuals have similar brand preferences (e.g., both partners prefer the same brand of soda), influences life satisfaction. The authors propose that when brand compatibility is high, life satisfaction will also be high. Conversely, because low brand compatibility may be a source of conflict for the relationship, the authors propose that it will be associated with reduced life satisfaction. Importantly, the authors predict that the effects of brand compatibility on conflict and life satisfaction will depend upon relationship power. Across multiple studies and methodologies, including experimental designs (studies 2, 3, 5) and dyadic data from real-life couples (studies 1, 4, 6), the authors test and find support for their hypotheses. By exploring how a potentially unique form of compatibility influences life satisfaction, including identifying a key moderator and an underlying mechanism, the current research contributes to the literatures on branding, close relationships, consumer well-being, and relationship power.
Brick, DJ; Fitzsimons, GM; Chartrand, TL; Fitzsimons, GJ
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