The Presentation of Self in the Information Age

30 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2004

See all articles by John Deighton

John Deighton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Date Written: April 15, 2004


The paper analyzes what it means to be personally identified in markets in an age of ubiquitous database technology, digital monitoring and unobtrusive surveillance, as a basis for conjectures about strategies for identity management by consumers and by firms. Identity is defined. Four levels of customer identification are distinguished, transitory, persistent, role-specific and self-expressive identification. We discuss implications of each for consumer behavior and the operation of markets.

Keywords: Consumer behavior, interactive marketing

JEL Classification: M3

Suggested Citation

Deighton, John, The Presentation of Self in the Information Age (April 15, 2004). HBS Marketing Research Paper No. 04-02. Available at SSRN: or

John Deighton (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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