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Human Brands: Investigating Antecedents to Consumers’ Strong Attachments to Celebrities

Human Brands: Investigating Antecedents to Consumers’ Strong Attachments to Celebrities This article explores recent advances in self-determination research to address why consumers develop strong attachments to “human brands,” a term that refers to any well-known persona who is the subject of marketing communications efforts. Study 1 uses a survey that is analyzed with structural equation modeling. Study 2 is qualitative and offers corroborating evidence for the proposed theoretical model. Study 3 extends the model with a more naturalistic sample and tests several alternative hypotheses using hierarchical regression. The results suggest that when a human brand enhances a person's feelings of autonomy and relatedness and does not suppress feelings of competence, the person is likely to become more strongly attached to it. This article documents that strong attachments are predictive of satisfied, trusting, and committed relationships and proposes that attachment strength may be a parsimonious proxy for consumer–brand relationship strength. The results imply that benefits would accrue to organizations such as entertainment firms and political parties that establish direct and routine interaction between human brands and consumers, that human brands to which consumers are attached offer significant potential as endorsers, and that organizations should address how to make the human brands they manage more authentic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Marketing SAGE

Human Brands: Investigating Antecedents to Consumers’ Strong Attachments to Celebrities

Journal of Marketing , Volume 70 (3): 16 – Jul 1, 2006

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References (67)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2006 American Marketing Association
ISSN
0022-2429
eISSN
1547-7185
DOI
10.1509/jmkg.70.3.104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores recent advances in self-determination research to address why consumers develop strong attachments to “human brands,” a term that refers to any well-known persona who is the subject of marketing communications efforts. Study 1 uses a survey that is analyzed with structural equation modeling. Study 2 is qualitative and offers corroborating evidence for the proposed theoretical model. Study 3 extends the model with a more naturalistic sample and tests several alternative hypotheses using hierarchical regression. The results suggest that when a human brand enhances a person's feelings of autonomy and relatedness and does not suppress feelings of competence, the person is likely to become more strongly attached to it. This article documents that strong attachments are predictive of satisfied, trusting, and committed relationships and proposes that attachment strength may be a parsimonious proxy for consumer–brand relationship strength. The results imply that benefits would accrue to organizations such as entertainment firms and political parties that establish direct and routine interaction between human brands and consumers, that human brands to which consumers are attached offer significant potential as endorsers, and that organizations should address how to make the human brands they manage more authentic.

Journal

Journal of MarketingSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2006

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