Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Business

Supervisor

Dr. June Cotte

Abstract

Branding research has begun to explore how loved brands are included in consumers’ self-concepts. Such self-brand overlap can enable consumers to react to brand-relevant situations as though they were self-relevant. Synthesizing theories of self-other overlap and perspective taking, self-enhancement and self-protection, as well as brand portfolios, I articulate how self-serving biased cognitions can influence consumer attitudes and behaviours toward entire brand portfolios via the consumer’s self-brand overlap with a single portfolio member.

Study 1 was designed to investigate how self-serving biases can positively affect consumer evaluations of multi-brand portfolios of which the consumer’s focal brand is a member. Potential reasons for the resulting inconclusive findings are discussed and prospects for future research are suggested.

Study 2 was designed to investigate consumer interpretations of brand portfolio restructuring. Results indicate that consumers who have a high degree of self-brand overlap can interpret such brand portfolio management decisions as a personal rejection of themselves when the brand is eliminated, and personal acceptance or validation when their brand is retained after an elimination threat. Study 3 was designed to investigate the behavioural aftermath of such inferences. Partial results and prospects for future research are offered. Potential implications for brand managers and marketing theory are discussed.


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