The effects of resources on brand and interpersonal connection

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Although social connections have long been considered a fundamental human motivation and deemed necessary for well-being, recent research has demonstrated that having greater resources is associated with weaker social connections. In the present research, we posit that individuals with greater resources still have a need to connect and are using other sources for connection, namely brands. Across five studies, we test and find support for the theory that resource level shifts the preferred source of social connection from people to brands. Specifically, we find that individuals with more resources have stronger connections and are more satisfied with their brands, suggesting that these individuals place more emphasis on these relationships. We also find that perceiving greater resources leads to greater connection, purchase intention, and willingness to pay for a new brand, demonstrating that resource level influences both existing brand relationships and the creation of new ones. In addition, we find that resource level affects how people view the importance of brand and interpersonal relationships. Finally, we find that having or perceiving greater resources is associated with a stronger preference to engage with brands over other people, highlighting that, at times, people prefer and seek out connection with brands over other people.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brick, DJ; Chartrand, TL; Fitzsimons, GJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 78 - 92

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2378-1823

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2378-1815

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/688755

Citation Source

  • Scopus