Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Self-Construal, Reference Groups, and Brand Meaning


Author Info

  • Jennifer Edson Escalas
  • James R. Bettman
Registered author(s):


    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 from two studies show that brands with images consistent with an ingroup enhance self-brand connections for all consumers, whereas brands with images that are consistent with an outgroup have a stronger negative effect on independent versus interdependent consumers. We propose that this differential effect is due to stronger self-differentiation goals for consumers with more independent self-concepts. We also find greater effects for more symbolic than for less symbolic brands. (c) 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 378-389

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:32:y:2005:i:3:p:378-389

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Park, C. Whan & Eisingerich, Andreas B. & Pol, Gratiana & Park, Jason Whan, 2013. "The role of brand logos in firm performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 180-187.
    2. Veloutsou, Cleopatra & Moutinho, Luiz, 2009. "Brand relationships through brand reputation and brand tribalism," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 314-322, March.
    3. Czellar, Sandor & Sprott, David E. & Spangenberg, Eric R. & Raska, David, 2009. "Consumer reactions to self-expressive brand display," Les Cahiers de Recherche 918, HEC Paris.
    4. Montoya, Detra Y. & Briggs, Elten, 2013. "Shared ethnicity effects on service encounters: A study across three U.S. subcultures," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 314-320.
    5. Yuan-Shuh Lii & Monle Lee, 2012. "Doing Right Leads to Doing Well: When the Type of CSR and Reputation Interact to Affect Consumer Evaluations of the Firm," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 69-81, January.
    6. Aguirre-Rodriguez, Alexandra & Bóveda-Lambie, Adriana M. & Montoya, Detra Y., 2014. "Exploring ethnic consumer response to crossover brand extensions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 457-463.
    7. Yang, Zhiyong & Laroche, Michel, 2011. "Parental responsiveness and adolescent susceptibility to peer influence: A cross-cultural investigation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(9), pages 979-987, September.
    8. Liu, Peggy J. & Campbell, Troy H. & Fitzsimons, Gavan J. & Fitzsimons, Gráinne M., 2013. "Matching choices to avoid offending stigmatized group members," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 291-304.
    9. Hsuan-Hsuan Ku & Chien-Chih Kuo & Wei-Luen Fang & Ya-Wen Yu, 2014. "The impact of retail out-of-stock options on preferences: The role of consumers’ desire for assimilation versus differentiation," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 53-66, March.
    10. Hogg, Margaret K. & Banister, Emma N. & Stephenson, Christopher A., 2009. "Mapping symbolic (anti-) consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 148-159, February.
    11. Fock, Henry & Chan, Allan K.K. & Yan, Dengfeng, 2011. "Member-organization connection impacts in affinity marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 672-679, July.
    12. Rares MOCANU, 2013. "Brand Image as a Function of Self-Image and Self-Brand Connection," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy Journal, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 1(3), pages 387-408, December.
    13. Claus, Bart & Geyskens, Kelly & Millet, Kobe & Dewitte, Siegfried, 2012. "The referral backfire effect: The identity-threatening nature of referral failure," MPRA Paper 57061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. F. Magnoni & E. Roux & P. Valette-Florence, 2011. "The impact of step-down line extension on consumer-brand relationships: A risky strategy for luxury brands," Post-Print halshs-00660296, HAL.
    15. Thomas Anker & Peter Sandøe & Tanja Kamin & Klemens Kappel, 2011. "Health Branding Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 33-45, November.
    16. Shukla, Paurav, 2011. "Impact of interpersonal influences, brand origin and brand image on luxury purchase intentions: Measuring interfunctional interactions and a cross-national comparison," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 242-252, April.
    17. Schembri, Sharon, 2009. "Reframing brand experience: The experiential meaning of Harley-Davidson," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1299-1310, December.
    18. Erifili Papista & Athanasios Krystallis, 2013. "Investigating the Types of Value and Cost of Green Brands: Proposition of a Conceptual Framework," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 75-92, June.
    19. da Silveira, Catherine & Lages, Carmen & Simões, Cláudia, 2013. "Reconceptualizing brand identity in a dynamic environment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 28-36.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:32:y:2005:i:3:p:378-389. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.