چگونه با نام های تجاری (برند) ارتباط برقرار نماییم : بینش های روان شناختی و فیزیولوژی عصبی برای روابط مصرف کننده و نام تجاری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1928||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 128–142
In three experiments, this research provides new insights into branding by studying the psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms of how consumers relate to their beloved brands. The authors propose that emotional arousal decreases over the brand relationship span, while inclusion of the brand into the self increases over time. Results of experiment 1 indicate greater self-reported emotional arousal for recently formed brand relationships, as well as decreased emotional arousal and increased inclusion of close brands over time. Additionally, the moderating role of usage frequency of the brand brings out an interesting nuance of the way these effects operate. Experiment 2 measures skin conductance responses and reveals increased emotional arousal for recently formed close relationships but not for established close brand relationships, corroborating the results based on self-reported data. In experiment 3, a functional magnetic resonance imaging study reveals an association between established close relationships and activation of the insula, a brain area previously found to be a crucial mechanism in diverse but related psychological phenomena such as urging, addiction, loss aversion, and interpersonal love.
“A man's self is the sum total of all that he can call his.” ~ William James (1890) The consumer–brand relationship literature contains myriad consumer–brand relationship constructs, including brand attachment (Thomson, MacInnis, & Park, 2005), brand commitment (Wang, 2002), brand devotion (Pichler & Hemetsberger, 2007), and brand love (Ahuvia, 2005, Carroll and Ahuvia, 2006 and Fournier, 1998). Research on these concepts has improved our understanding of the consequences of close consumer–brand relationships for various consumer behaviors, such as loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. However, studies have not fully explored the motivational–emotional aspects associated with close brand relationships. What is the general emotional significance of such close relationships? This question is at the heart of the social–psychological self-expansion theory (Aron & Aron, 1986), which has been applied extensively to human relationships (e.g., Aron et al., 1991 and Aron et al., 1995) but not yet to brand relationships. Self-expansion theory suggests that, in early stages, close relationships are motivated by rapid self-expansion—i.e., the acquisition of resources, perspectives, and identities that enhance one's ability to accomplish goals—whereas in later stages, close relationships are associated with the inclusion of others into the self, i.e., people tend to consider the close other as part of themselves. Taken together, while one central feature of close personal relationships pertains to the motivation to expand oneself, the other central feature is the overlap between two people. This overlap of “selves” is a consequence of falling in love (Aron & Aron, 1986). Hence, according to this theory, love emanates from this desire to rapidly expand (Aron & Aron, 1996). Love motivates the formation and maintenance of close relationships, with love being the mechanism and motivational force of close relationships. Following this notion, we use love and close relationships synonymously for our purposes. Recently, Reimann and Aron (2009) suggested that these ideas of relationships may be relevant to consumers' close relationships with brands as people also form a similar type of relationship with objects (Belk, 1988). More often than not, these objects are specific brands, which consumers relate to and use to identify their “selves” (Ahuvia, 2005). Similar to loved others, brands can create a “warm feeling” among consumers, generate a pleasurable experience of being cared for, and ultimately bond consumers in a close connection (Fournier, 1998). Brands can give consumers “ideal selves” to aspire to, as the presentation of self through possessions allows consumers to differ from what may be their “real selves” (Malär, Krohmer, Hoyer, & Nyffenegger, 2011). Given this resemblance of loved brands to loved others, applying theories of close interpersonal relationships to consumer–brand relationship seems feasible. The specific appeal of self-expansion theory for brand research lies in its motivational–emotional account. Additionally, the theory emphasizes the dynamic character of close relationships and allows for predictions of changes in motivations and emotions as the relationship matures. Thus, self-expansion theory promises a richer understanding of brand relationships at various points of the brand lifecycle. The present research draws from a variety of psychological and neurophysiological methodologies, including self-report, skin conductance, and brain activation, to empirically test self-expansion theory in the context of consumer–brand relationships. Specifically, consumers' skin conductance responses (SCR), which measure the arousal dimension of emotion (Boucsein, 1992), have the potential to shed new light on how consumers expand their “selves.” A process-tracing methodology, the recording of SCR helps provide novel insights on otherwise hidden processes in consumer judgments (Figner & Murphy, 2010). Additionally, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) makes feasible the analysis of neurophysiological mechanisms in the brain at the time they take place (Reimann et al., 2011, Shiv, 2007 and Shiv et al., 2005), because fMRI is not subject to cognitive processes overlapping actual emotional processes (Reimann, Zaichkowsky, Neuhaus, Bender, & Weber, 2010). Participants do not have to recall how they relate to a brand as they do when they provide self-reports, so the fMRI process helps clarify how consumers include brands in their “selves.” Prior research has used fMRI to improve the understanding of cognitive processes associated with brands, including the neural correlates of brand perception and processing (Cheung, Chan, & Sze, 2010), brands' impact on product perception (McClure et al., 2004 and Reimann et al., 2010), brand categorization (Schaefer & Rotte, 2007b), brand judgments (Yoon, Gutchess, Feinberg, & Polk, 2006), and brand preference (Paulus and Frank, 2003, Santos et al., 2011 and Schaefer and Rotte, 2007a). However, knowledge of the neural underpinnings of brand relationships—especially their underlying motivational–emotional processes—does not appear in the literature. In testing self-expansion theory in the context of brand relationships, this paper contributes to the extant literature by determining (1) whether rapid self-expansion and inclusion into the self are greater for recently formed close brand relationships compared to established close brand relationships, (2) whether levels of self-expansion and inclusion change over time, and (3) whether usage frequency of the brand influences the effects of time on self-expansion and inclusion. Using a multi-method approach, the present research adds to knowledge of psychological and neurophysiological responses to brands as well as to knowledge of brain areas associated with close brand relationships. Overall, the use of psychophysiological data complements fMRI findings by providing a more comprehensive understanding of the physiological and neural mechanisms of decision-making and, therefore, yields more valuable information by examining the interplay among emotions and behavior (Wong, Xue, & Bechara, 2011).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The present research shows that emotional arousal abates as one uses a new loved brand over time, while inclusion of the beloved brand into the self increases over time. Therefore, this research introduces an interactive effect of relationship length and relationship closeness on emotional arousal and inclusion. This study also demonstrates that arousal and inclusion into the self are identified with unique neurophysiological processes of increased skin conductance responses and insula activation. By integrating several psychological and neurophysiological concepts and measures, this research sheds new light on the unique characteristics of close consumer–brand relationships and enlightens the conceptualization and measurement of how consumers relate to brands over time. This research makes a theoretical contribution to the brand relationship literature by introducing self-expansion theory to consumer research and applying it to the development and maintenance of brand relationships (i.e., person–object relationships). Using a multimethod approach, we found that (1) close consumer–brand relationships are based on two psychological mechanisms—rapid self-expansion and inclusion into the self (experiment 1); (2) consumers rapidly expand their “selves” for recently formed close brand relationships over both established close relationships and neutral relationships, as shown by increased SCR (experiment 2); and (3) when compared with neutral relationships, established close consumer–brand relationships are associated with activation of the insula, a brain area responsible for urging, addiction, loss aversion, and interpersonal love (experiment 3). Taken together, these results contribute to knowledge of how consumers relate to brands over time, suggesting that close brand relationships can generally be explained by self-expansion and inclusion mechanisms whose roles differ depending on whether the relationship is new or persistent. Furthermore, the present research makes a methodological contribution to the measurement of brand relationships. More specifically, this research provides a simple yet effective instrument to assess the level of inclusion of brands. We have shown the brand inclusion diagram (see Fig. 1) to be a valuable indicator of how closely connected a consumer is to a brand. In the future, this instrument may serve as both a cross-sectional measure and a longitudinal measure of brand relationships. One interesting result is that this paper-and-pencil brand inclusion measure correlates with fMRI data. The combined analysis of paper-and-pencil measures and blood flow in specific brain areas is a step forward in theory building and confirmation (Reimann et al., 2010). Limitations Besides making important contributions to the extant research, the present study has some limitations. First, the neurophysiological operationalizations of rapid self-expansion as arousal and inclusion into self as insula activation may be limited to some extent. In particular, we acknowledge that these are just two ways of operationalizing, and other forms of operationalization may exist. For example, to further investigate the notion of greater self-expansion for recently formed brand relationships and explore whether recently formed close relationships increase levels of self-efficacy or self-esteem, future investigators could apply a self-efficacy measure (Bandura, 1977) or a self-esteem measure (Rosenberg, 1979) before and after consumers are confronted with their beloved brands. To further study the neurophysiological underpinnings of inclusion of a close brand, researchers could manipulate brain regions other than the insula. Specifically, transcranial magnetic stimulation could be applied to manipulate the medial prefrontal cortex and examine its role in close versus neutral brand relationships. Second, another limitation of the present research may relate to the fact that the effect of longevity of the brand relationship is not the same across all close relationships. Fournier (1998) features 15 different forms of consumer–brand relationships, including casual friends/buddies, kinships, and secret affairs, hence alternative trajectories may exist for these different relationship forms, a possibility that warrants investigation. Third, other moderating variables, such as the brand's personality or the consumer's actual consumption experience, could affect both the link between time and rapid self-expansion and the link between time and inclusion of the brand in one's self. Avenues for future research The aforementioned limitations already offer ample opportunities for future investigation, which are complemented by the following open questions that warrant more further research. First, we might ask if close brand relationships are addictive to a certain extent? Our finding of insula activation for close brands gives rise to this speculation. Earlier studies have implicated the insula in addiction to alcohol (e.g., Myrick et al., 2004) and nicotine (e.g., McClernon et al., 2005), raising the question of whether close brands share a similar mechanism. Future investigations could further differentiate a simple urge for these brands (e.g., being committed to a specific brand) from more intense addiction to these brands (e.g., being devoted to a specific brand), two processes ascribed to the insula. Second, the present research only had two time points, six months apart. But, what are the effects over years? And how long does it take a consumer to be completely identified with the brand? Third, research into the effects of individual differences on the processes underlying close brand relationships may be fruitful. In particular, does personality affect the way consumers rapidly self-expand and include beloved brands into their “selves”? Investigators might analyze whether certain personality traits are particularly prone to these brand relationship mechanisms. Fourth and final, we might ask at what point in their lives do consumers develop these relationships altogether. The subjects used in these studies were younger consumers, on the uphill road of consumption. What about the 55-plus group who already owns everything? Does it take “more” from a brand to be loved at a latter age? Do the intangible goods become more attractive at that age? Consumption patterns do change over the lifecycle and maybe consumer brand relationships are a bit different, when one has “everything.”