November 11, 2008

Chameleon brands – integrate to connect

David J. Moore from the University of Michigan and Pamela Miles Homer from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) released together last year an article in Science Direct titled “Self-brand connections: The role of attitude strength and autobiographical memory primes”


They are bringing to us the concept of Self Brand Connection.

 The self Brand connection (SBC) construct describes one’s attitude vs a given brand, and particularly the relationship between one’s self image and the brand’s image.

Which is different from brand personality (Aaker,1997)... which is “a set of human characteristics associated with a brand”.

The SBC “measures the extent to which the consumer connects that personality to his or her self-concept”. The Self Brand connection is stronger when an individual starts to define himself with the brand.

Their essay focused on Sports marketing, and particularly the fans attitude to the brand depending on gender, and game outcomes. But the concepts discussed can really take a broader meaning here. I retained a few interesting learning’s I’d like to share here.

  1. The stronger the links with a brand, the more favourable brand attitudes are going to be.

“people for whom a given brand is sufficiently important to be linked to their self-concept and to their psychological needs should not only develop more favorable brand attitudes (H1), but will exhibit higher levels of attitude strength as well.”

  1. Adversity plays a strong role. The stronger the brand needs to assert their identity (It is always better if that identity is threatened – ie opposed communities in this case sports teams) the stronger the feelings of belonging to a community.
  2. To succeed in creating a strong connection with a consumer target (fans) a brand has to integrate the group / community it wants to belong to, and display codes and behaviours proving that integration. Only then will the fans / consumers start feeling that the brand is a true part of their world.

In today’s world, brands need to be champion Chameleons with multiple facets to their personality. The exercise is hazardous but truly worth it for those who successfully integrate. Endorsers are most effective at persuading consumers when the endorsers' image “matches” the message about the product and is consistent with the aspired-to self-image of the target audience (Kahle and Homer, 1985).

Social identity theory is based on the notion that people will be motivated to attach themselves to those who are perceived to be similar in values, preferences or various shared group characteristics    (Jacobson, 2003). The fundamental premise is that group membership is crucial to the formation of specific identities developed by the individual (Hogg and Abrams, 1990). Social identity is developed through the value and emotional attachment that an individual derives from membership in a articular group (Tajfel and Turner, 1986).

1 comment:

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