Marketing

Reminiscing on Self-Brand Connections: Differentiating Experiential versus Symbolic Origins

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Self-brand connections (SBC) represent the extent to which consumers have formed a connection between their identity, that is, their sense of who they are, and a brand. Research into SBC has focused on the symbolic nature of brand linkages to identity, for example, how consumers form connections to brands to create, verify, and bolster their identities, as well as communicate who they are to others. In this chapter, we explore a second way that SBC can arise, based on personal experience with the brand. In this function, brands can link people to their past, remind them of important people and events from their past, or provide a sense of nostalgia. Given that special experiences are central to identity, brand connections based on these occasions also become linked to consumers' sense of self. We develop a scale to measure SBC based on personal experiences with the brand and propose many directions for future research where we expect there may be interesting differences based on whether a SBC was formed for symbolic purposes or based on personal history with the brand. This is important because there are many positive downstream consequences of SBC for marketers: strong, favorable brand attitudes, high brand loyalty, forgiveness of marketing blunders, etc. When consumers' identities are linked to a brand, then the company behind the brand may be able to gain an enduring competitive advantage, because this type of connection is difficult for competitors to imitate.
Bibliographic citation: Edson Escalas, Jennifer; Gallo, Iñigo; Gaustad, Tarje, "Reminiscing on Self-Brand Connections: Differentiating Experiential versus Symbolic Origins". In: Americus Reed II and Mark Forehand. Handbook of Research on Identity Theory in Marketing. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019. pp 120 - 130
Date: 12/2019
Author(s): Edson Escalas, Jennifer; Gallo, Iñigo; Gaustad, Tarje
Document type: Chapter
Languages: English