, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 234-252
Date: 23 Feb 2012

Exploring the dynamics of antecedents to consumer–brand identification with a new brand

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This study examines the dynamics of consumer–brand identification (CBI) and its antecedents in the context of the launch of a new brand. Three focal drivers of CBI with a new brand are examined, namely: perceived quality (the instrumental driver), self–brand congruity (the symbolic driver), and consumer innate innovativeness (a trait-based driver). Using longitudinal survey data, the authors find that on average, CBI growth trajectories initially rise after the introduction but eventually decline, following an inverted-U shape. More importantly, the longitudinal effects of the antecedents suggest that CBI can take different paths. Consumer innovativeness creates a fleeting identification with the brand that dissipates over time. On the other hand, company-controlled drivers of CBI—such as brand positioning—can contribute to the build-up of deep-structure CBI that grows stronger over time. Based on these findings, the authors offer normative guidelines to managers on consumer–brand relationship investment.