Competing for Consumer Identity: Limits to Self-Expression and the Perils of Lifestyle Branding

  title={Competing for Consumer Identity: Limits to Self-Expression and the Perils of Lifestyle Branding},
  author={Alexander Chernev and Ryan Hamilton and David Gal},
  journal={Journal of Marketing},
  pages={66 - 82}
The idea that consumers use brands to express their identities has led many companies to reposition their products from focusing on functional attributes to focusing on how they fit into a consumer's lifestyle. This repositioning is welcomed by managers who believe that by positioning their brands as means for self-expression, they are less likely to go head-to-head with their direct competitors. However, the authors argue that by doing so, these companies expose themselves to much broader… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

When Identity Marketing Backfires: Consumer Agency in Identity Expression

Consumers prefer brands positioned around identities they possess. Accordingly, the consumer identity literature emphasizes the importance of a clear fit between brands and target identities,

When endorsers behave badly: consumer self-expression and negative meaning transfer

Abstract How do consumers adjust their public and private self-expression through a brand when an endorser attached to the brand gets involved in a scandal? Building on the theory of meaning transfer

An investigation of patterns of self-brand personality alignment

In their continuous search for improved explanations of why consumers engage with certain brands more than with others, academics and managers have placed significant importance on self-brand

The Perils of Self-Brand Connections: Consumer Response to Changes in Brand Imageoppdrag

Companies commit considerable resources to build brand associations that resonate with consumers' identities and facilitate strong consumer-brand bonds. This dissertation investigated a potential

Who You Are Affects What You Buy: The Influence of Consumer Identity on Brand Preferences

This study examined the extent to which individuals used their self-concepts to determine brand preference. It was predicted that individuals would prefer brands with images congruent with their own

Consumers’ Online Brand Endorsements

Purpose and Approach This Chapter has three central goals: First, it aims to introduce the concept of consumers’ online brand endorsements, which we define as consumers’ intentional, public, and



Self‐Construal, Reference Groups, and Brand Meaning

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

Can Brands Move in from the Outside? How Moral Identity Enhances Out-Group Brand Attitudes

Consumers tend to have more favorable attitudes for their in-group brands than their out-group brands. However, little is known regarding how brand managers can overcome consumers’ negative attitudes

The Role of Products as Social Stimuli: A Symbolic Interactionism Perspective

Most empirical work on product symbolism has paid relatively little attention to how products are used by consumers in everyday social life. This paper argues that the subjective experience imparted

Self-Concept and Brand Preference

The basic purpose of this research is to empirically test one of the "self-evident" truths in contemporary theorizing about consumer behavior-that people go about purchasing one thing or another only

Where Consumers Diverge from Others: Identity Signaling and Product Domains

We propose that consumers often make choices that diverge from those of others to ensure that they effectively communicate desired identities. Consistent with this identity-signaling perspective,

The Effects of Brand Relationship Norms on Consumer Attitudes and Behavior

The key premise underlying this work is that when consumers form relationships with brands they use norms of interpersonal relationships as a guide in their brand assessments. Two relationship types

The Social Self: On Being the Same and Different at the Same Time

Mfost of social psychology's theories of the self fail to take into account the significance of social identification in the definition of self. Social identities are self-definitions that are more

The Ties That Bind: Measuring the Strength of Consumers’ Emotional Attachments to Brands

Extant research suggests that consumers can become emotionally attached to consumption objects, including brands. However, a scale to measure the strength of consumers’ emotional attachments to