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When Brand Personality Matters: The Moderating Role of Attachment Styles VANITHA SWAMINATHAN

By Karen M. Stilley

Abstract

This research examines the moderating role of consumer’s attachment style in the impact of brand personality. Findings support our hypotheses regarding the manner in which brand personality and attachment style differences systematically influence brand outcomes, including brand attachment, purchase likelihood, and brand choice. Results show that anxiously attached individuals are more likely to be differentially influenced by brand personalities. Further, the results indicate that the level of avoidance predicts the types of brand personality that are most relevant to anxious individuals. Specifically, under conditions of high avoidance and high anxiety, individuals exhibit a preference for exciting brands; however, under conditions of low avoidance and high anxiety, individuals tend to prefer sincere brands. The differential preference for sincere (vs. exciting) brand personality emerges in public (vs. private) consumption settings and in settings where interpersonal relationship expectations are high, supporting a signaling role of brand personality in these contexts. That brands have personalities or human characteristics is now well established in the literature, as is the idea that brand personality is a vehicle of consumer self-expression and can be instrumental in helping a consumer express different aspects of his or her self (Aaker 1997; Belk 1988; Escalas and Bettman 2005; Johar, Sengupta, and Aaker 2005). Humanizing a brand empowers it to play a more central role in the consumer’s life, potentially enabling the consumer to project an aspect of his or her self that might be desirable for relationships he or she seeks (Aaker 1997; Wallendorf and Arnould 1988) or possibly even give him or her a sense of comfort at having found a brand that “fits

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.186.5069
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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