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Brand conscious? Here's why

entertainment Updated: Dec 18, 2008 20:00 IST

Ever wondered why popular apparel brands like Van Huesen, Louis Phillipe and Park Avenue appeal to people who seek intimacy in relationships? Well, the answer lies in their upbringing, says a new study.

A team, led by Indian-origin researcher Vanitha Swaminathan of Pittsburgh University, has found that people's relationship styles can affect their brand choices to a large extent, the 'Journal of Consumer Research' reported.

"Depending on the nature of the relationship between the infant and caregiver, an individual will develop an attachment style characterised by the following two dimensions -- anxiety and avoidance.

"The anxiety dimension refers to the extent a person's view of self is positive or negative; whereas the avoidance dimension is based on the extent to which the view of others is positive or negative," according to the researchers.

In fact, according to them, anxiously attached individuals are more influenced by "brand personalities", the idea that a brand possesses human-like traits, like sincerity or excitement.

"Because of a low view of self, anxious individuals use brands to signal their ideal self-concept to future relationship partners and therefore focus more on the personality of the brand," the researchers wrote.

In their study, the researchers tested participants to determine their attachment styles. Then they asked about their desires for "sincere" versus "exciting" products to reach the conclusion.

"This research points out an interesting but counterintuitive finding: Brand personality can be most useful for forging consumer-brand connections with consumers who tend to enjoy such deep connections in the interpersonal context," the researchers said.