Too much of a good thing? Consumer response to strategic changes in brand image

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The current research investigates a potential disadvantage of building brand associations that resonate with consumers' identities and facilitate consumer–brand bonding. The authors propose a theory of consumer response to changes that either dampen or augment the associations central to brand image (e.g., due to brand acquisitions or repositioning). The results show that consumers with a high degree of self–brand connection respond more negatively than others do to changes that dampen brand associations. Counterintuitively, changes augmenting brand associations can also lead to unfavorable consumer sentiments in certain instances. When brand connection was linked to an ideal self-identity (i.e., self-enhancement motives), changes that augmented the brand image increased the brand's ability to signal an ideal identity. Conversely, when brand connection was linked to the actual self-identity (i.e., self-verification motives), augmenting brand image reduced the perceived similarity between the self and the brand, thus causing brand identification to deteriorate.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gaustad, T; Samuelsen, BM; Warlop, L; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • June 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 264 - 280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-8116

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2019.01.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus