Self and Brand
Overlap between Mental Representations
Self-identity is represented in the mind as a set of associations between the self and experiences in the outside world. Psychologists have shown that one’s sense of identity includes the perception of one’s body, interpersonal relationships, cultural memberships, and social roles.
In this paper, the authors demonstrate that favorite brands may also be included as part of the psychological identity. Specifically, they show that when a consumer thinks about a loved brand, characteristics that the consumer shares with that brand come to mind more quickly than non-shared characteristics. In psychological terms, this finding demonstrates a psychological overlap between the self and the loved brand.
Merrie Brucks is the Robert and Kathleen Eckert Professor of Marketing at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. Rebecca K. Trump is with the Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola University Maryland.
Published in Self and Identity.