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Consumer Identity And Implications For The Brand


  • Raluca Mihalcea
  • Iacob Cătoiu


In a consumer culture people no longer consume for merely functional satisfaction, but consumption becomes meaning-based, and brands are often used as symbolic resources for the construction and maintenance of identity. All human behavior is a symbolic action. People are not just choosing the best, the fanciest, or the cheapest brands. They're choosing brands that have the right meaning. Brands are now creating value not just by the products or services they represent, but by the meanings they generate. This meaning is being adopted by consumers to express who they are and what they stand for. Meaning, in fact, may be the most important product a brand creates today.

Suggested Citation

  • Raluca Mihalcea & Iacob Cătoiu, 2008. "Consumer Identity And Implications For The Brand," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 2(10), pages 1-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:alu:journl:v:2:y:2008:i:10:p:50

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Belk, Russell W & Bahn, Kenneth D & Mayer, Robert N, 1982. "Developmental Recognition of Consumption Symbolism," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 4-17, June.
    2. Jennifer Edson Escalas & James R. Bettman, 2005. "Self-Construal, Reference Groups, and Brand Meaning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 378-389, December.
    3. Calder, Bobby J & Burnkrant, Robert E, 1977. "Interpersonal Influence on Consumer Behavior: An Attribution Theory Approach," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 29-38, June.
    4. Wernerfelt, Birger, 1990. "Advertising Content When Brand Choice Is a Signal," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 91-98, January.
    5. Ariely, Dan & Levav, Jonathan, 2000. "Sequential Choice in Group Settings: Taking the Road Less Traveled and Less Enjoyed," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 279-290, December.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
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    More about this item


    identity; consumer divergence; reference groups; brand image; brand culture;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing


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