Identity-Based Consumer Behavior

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven: Faculty of Business and Economics OR 1201

53 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2012

See all articles by Americus Reed

Americus Reed

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Marketing

Mark R. Forehand

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

S. Puntoni

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Although the influence of identity on consumer behavior has been documented in many streams of literature, the absence of a consistent definition of identity and of generally accepted principles regarding the drivers of identity-based behavior complicates comparisons across these literatures. To resolve that problem, we propose a simple but inclusive definition of identity. Identity can be defined as any category label with which a consumer selfassociates that is amenable to a clear picture of what a person in that category looks like, thinks, feels and does. Building from this definition, we propose the following five basic principles that can help researchers model the process of identity formation and expression: (1) Identity Salience: identity processing increases when the identity is an active component of the self; (2) Identity Association: the non-conscious association of stimuli with a positive and salient identity improves a person’s response to the stimuli; (3) Identity Relevance: the deliberative evaluation of identity-linked stimuli depends on how diagnostic the identity is in the relevant domain; (4) Identity Verification: individuals monitor their own behaviors to manage and reinforce their identities; and (5) Identity Conflict: identity-linked behaviors help consumers manage the relative prominence of multiple identities. To illustrate the potential usefulness of these principles for guiding identity research, we discuss new avenues for identity research and explain how these principles could help guide investigations into these areas.

Keywords: identity, consumer behavior

Suggested Citation

Reed, Americus and Forehand, Mark R. and Puntoni, Stefano and Warlop, Luk, Identity-Based Consumer Behavior (2012). Katholieke Universiteit Leuven: Faculty of Business and Economics OR 1201. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2176665

Americus Reed

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Marketing ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-0651 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

Mark R. Forehand

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States
206-685-1955 (Phone)
206-685-9392 (Fax)

Stefano Puntoni

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Luk Warlop (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
70
Abstract Views
759
rank
341,743
PlumX Metrics