How brand affection runs deep

One divisive topic in my house is Primark- quite typically when the P-word emerges, tempers often flare.

The problem stems from the fact that while my sister is a Primark-devotee, I am something of anti-Primarker (the shoes don’t fit well and I’m wary of the implications of their extreme low prices). Thus, many sisterly arguments centre on the pros and cons of the brand; and while I’d like to think that I have the upper hand in this process, what I did not realise is that by criticising my sister’s love of the brand, I am unknowingly hurting her self-esteem. Yes, that’s right- I am wickedly lowering my sister’s confidence by complaining about Primark’s customer care..

A paper entitled “The effects of self-brand connections on responses to brand failure: A new look at the consumer–brand relationship”, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology has observed that people who personally identify with a company and its products, recognise negative comments about the company as “self-esteem-lowering personal attacks”. Oh dear. The report carried out by researchers researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Illinois, and Villanova School of Business; concludes that extreme loyalists to the brand (those with “high self esteem brand connection”), are highly resistant to brand failure- to the point of ignoring negative news about the brand.

I think a great example of this is the “I’m a pc” vs. “I’m a mac” campaign, as it it insinuates that a person IS the brand they love. As such, this signifies the importance of brands achieving strong consumer loyalty- as this loyalty is particularly hard to shift, even against an argumentative sister…


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