FRIDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) Hardcore aficionados of
particular brands feel so strongly about their choice that they can
suffer separation anxiety if they have to buy a different brand, a
new study suggests.
The findings suggest that these consumers regard brands as
extensions of themselves, said the researchers at the Marshall
School of Business at the University of Southern California. This,
in turn, explains consumers' devotion to particular items, fans'
intense responses to celebrity deaths, and the despair of teens who
can't have their favorite brand of jeans, the researchers
The USC team developed a brand attachment scale and then tested
the scale on consumers of a number of prominent brands. Overall,
the greater the attachment to a brand, the greater sacrifices in
time, energy and money a consumer will make to connect or remain
connected to the brand.
Although their findings were positive, the researchers also
noted that some studies have found consumers can have "strong
negative dissociations between the brand and self." When this
occurs, brand relationships can include "motivations to inflict
harm on the brand," as seen in some bad behavior among sports fans.
These adversarial brand relationships, the study authors wrote,
also deserve future research.
The study appears in the November issue of the
Journal of Marketing.
The Media Awareness Network explains how companies target
children and teens.