Self-Congruence is Not Everything for a Brand: Initial Evidence Supporting the Relevance of Identity Cultivation in a College Student Role-Identity Context

18 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Douglas Ewing

Douglas Ewing

Bowling Green State University - College of Business Administration

Chris T. Allen

University of Cincinnati - Lindner College of Business

Date Written: May 2017

Abstract

Theoretical understanding of the linkage between brands and specific aspects of self remains incomplete despite a large body of relevant research. This report develops the premise of specific aspects of self (role-identities) influencing brand preferences and reports relevant effects. Findings indicate that brands apparently “similar” to one of the consumer’s role-identities may not necessarily be those with the highest indicated levels of preference. An established individual within an identity domain may indicate lower levels of preference for a brand that he/she strongly associates with this identity. Essentially, the research reported highlights the possibility of changes in brand preferences due to role-identity dynamics. Alignment between self and brand is a net positive, but may not hold at the level of specific self-concept aspects such as a role-identity. This premise is consistent with Identity Theory and Symbolic Self-Completion Theory while highlighting a disconnection between user imagery and brand preferences.

Keywords: role-identity, identity cultivation, symbolic self-completion, branding meaning, brand resonance

Suggested Citation

Ewing, Douglas and Allen, Chris T., Self-Congruence is Not Everything for a Brand: Initial Evidence Supporting the Relevance of Identity Cultivation in a College Student Role-Identity Context (May 2017). Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 24, Issue 5, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3174057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41262-017-0047-3

Douglas Ewing (Contact Author)

Bowling Green State University - College of Business Administration ( email )

Bowling Green, OH 43403
United States

Chris T. Allen

University of Cincinnati - Lindner College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 210195
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0195
United States

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