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Title: Psychological distance of brand associations and brand communication of luxury versus nonluxury brands on social media
Author: Griesser, Simone Esther
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 0202
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Brand management research has focussed on exploring what terms consumers associate with a brand and the strength of these associations. No prior research proposes an approach that goes beyond the determination and measurement of brand associations restricting our understanding to how brand management indirectly influences consumer decision-making. Research is required to i) provide a theoretical explanation of how brands directly influence consumer information processing, ii) how processing styles influence brand associations and behavioural preferences, and, iii) the interplay between consumer brand associations and brand communication. The Construal Level Theory (CLT) of psychological distance offers a useful lens to do this. Two datasets totalling 6000 consumer tweets to 30 brands show that the 15 investigated luxury brands are psychologically distant while the 15 examined non-luxury brands are psychologically close. Contrary to expectations, 3000 brand tweets from the same 15 luxury and 15 non-luxury brands mismatch consumer brand associations. Luxury brands use psychologically close language and non-luxury brands psychologically distant language. On Facebook, the majority of the examined brands use psychological distance neither consistently nor effectively in their brand communication. An experiment shows that mismatching brand communication decreases purchase intentions and brand liking for psychologically distant luxury brands. This thesis makes three substantial empirical contributions to the brand management literature and one to research methodology. First, brands are mental representations and, as such, are psychologically close or distant and influence how consumers process brand communication. According to CLT, this affects price perceptions, assortment size preferences, and the positivity of evaluations. Second, psychological distance systematically differentiates luxury brands from non-luxury brands. Third, matching the psychological distance of brand communication to brand associations only improves outcomes for psychologically distant brands. Lastly, the computational method employed to analyse language for psychological distance is more reliable than conventional methods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce