Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 396–407 | Cite as

The added value of contextual motivations on consumer–brand relationships of self-gifts

Original Article


Consumers frequently engage in self-gifting purchases (gifts for one’s self) and they do so mostly to reward themselves for a success achieved or to cheer themselves up after a failure. Thus, both ‘reward’ and ‘compensation’ motives might underlie consumers’ self-gift purchases. Although self-gifting has been increasingly popular in the marketing literature, not much work has investigated its consequences. In the current article, we seek to examine how these motives to purchase self-gifts might influence the consumer–brand relationship. Across two studies, using both manipulated and measured variables, we show that consumers have more positive brand evaluations when motives are present than when they are absent, independent of whether the product is purchased because of a self-rewarding or a self-compensating motive. Furthermore, we show that this effect holds true only for individuals who do not feel very connected to the brand. Results are robust across very different product categories (lollipops and watches) and populations (student and ‘non-student’ sample). Thus, we suggest that marketers might target consumers with low self-brand connection more effectively by emphasizing specific motivations to purchase indulgent self-gifts when they design their ad campaigns and brand positioning strategies.


contextual motivations self-brand connection consumer–brand relationships self-gifts reward compensatory 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Carnevale
    • 1
  • Ozge Yucel-Aybat
    • 1
  • Lauren Block
    • 1
  1. 1.Schools of Business, Fordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

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