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Title: Self-identity and consumption : a study of consumer personality, brand personality, and brand relationship
Author: Huang, Hazel Hsiu-chen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 2942
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis investigates the relationship between self-identity and consumption by discussing the conceptual and measurement issues of consumer personality, brand personality, and brand relationship. The investigation is based on the theories of personality, self-identity, and interpersonal relationship. The self-identity theories (Belk 1988; Cooley 1964; James 1890; Mead 1935) suggest that consumers may use brands to construct, maintain, and enhance their self-identities. Drawing from the literature of personality and self-identity, this thesis repositions the concept of personality for the context of consumption and refers it to self-identity (self-perception) rather than behaviour. This repositioning indicates that consumer personality and brand personality can be examined by the same personality concept. On the basis of the self-identity theories, a positive relationship is expected to exist between consumer personality and brand personality. Moreover, the interpersonal relationship theories (Aron et al. 1991; Rodin 1978; Thibaut and Kelley 1959) indicate that the relationship partners become a part of the self-identity in a close relationship. Therefore, it is hypothesised that the closer the brand personality and consumer personality perceived by the consumers (consumer-brand congruence), the better the brand relationship quality. This study applies a quasi-experiment from a field setting to examine the relationship among consumer personality, brand personality, and brand relationship. A 2 (high and low involvement) x 2 (high and low feeling) factorial design is featured to explore the role of involvement and feeling in the relationship of self-identity and consumption. A total number of 468 observations reveals that consumer and brand personality are strongly and positively related. The greater the consumer-brand congruence is, the better the brand relationship. Minimal moderating effects of involvement and feeling to the relationships between consumer personality and brand personality and between consumer-brand congruence and brand relationship quality are observed. These findings suggest that consumers use brands from various product categories in different situations to maintain their self-identities. The study attempts to make contributions on the theoretical, methodological, and managerial levels. Theoretically, it clarifies the concepts of consumer personality and brand personality, and reaffirms the concept of brand relationship. In this way, some measurement issues of self-identity and brand personality are resolved. The findings suggest that brand personality can be used as a tool to investigate global markets and to facilitate market segmentation and communication. Finally, the limitations of the thesis are recognised and directions for future research are offered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce