Self-construal, reference groups, and brand meaning


Journal Article

We propose that consumers purchase brands in part to construct their self-concepts and, in so doing, form self-brand connections. We focus on reference groups as a source of brand meaning. Results from two studies show that brands with images consistent with an ingroup enhance self-brand connections for all consumers, whereas brands with images that are consistent with an outgroup have a stronger negative effect on independent versus interdependent consumers. We propose that this differential effect is due to stronger self-differentiation goals for consumers with more independent self-concepts. We also find greater effects for more symbolic than for less symbolic brands. © 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Escalas, JE; Bettman, JR

Published Date

  • December 1, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 378 - 389

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0093-5301

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/497549

Citation Source

  • Scopus