Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating role of product involvement in predicting the effects of self‐concept and consumption situation on consumers' situational decision making. Design/methodology/approach – An experiment was conducted based on a two (self‐concept) × two (consumption situation) between group design. Participants' product involvement was treated as a covariate in repeated measures test to analyze the relationships between product involvement, self‐concept and consumption situation. Findings – Results suggested that, for consumers who were highly involved with the product, self‐concept and consumption situation were both determinant factors in a situational brand choice. For consumers who were not highly involved with the product, however, their situational brand choice was based solely on the situational factor, not their self‐concept. Research limitation/implications – Participants' pre‐existing attitude towards the brands might have influenced their answers. Only a single product category was used. The findings of this study can help us understand the underlying mechanism for the impact of self‐congruity and situational congruity. From a marketer's perspective, it seems logical to assume that both self‐concept and consumption situation are influential factors for those who find the product personally relevant, while only consumption situation is influential for those who are not. Originality/value – The paper examines the interaction effect between self‐concept and consumption situation. It introduces a new variable, product involvement, to self‐concept research to extend our understanding of when self/situation congruity effects occur.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 21, 2008
Keywords: Philosophical concepts; Consumption; Brand awareness; Consumer behaviour
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