The Effects of Brand Relationship Norms on Consumer

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Journal of Consumer Research Inc.

The Effects of Brand Relationship Norms on Consumer Attitudes and Behavior Author(s): Pankaj Aggarwal Source: The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 31, No. 1 (June 2004), pp. 87-101 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 15/03/2011 17:00 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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The Effects of Brand Relationship Norms on Consumer Attitudes and Behavior PANKAJ AGGARWAL*
The key premise underlying this work is that when consumers form relationships with brands they use norms of interpersonal relationships as a guide in their brand assessments. Two relationship types are examined: exchange relationships in which benefits are given to others to get something back and communal relationships in which benefits are given to show concern for other’s needs. The conceptual model proposes that an adherence to or a violation of these relationship norms influences the appraisal of the specific marketing action and also the overall brand evaluations. Results of three experiments provide converging evidence in support of the theory.


randing and brand-based differentiation are powerful means for creating and sustaining competitive advantage. Prior research has examined differences in how consumers perceive and evaluate brands, for example, through investigating brand equity (Keller 1993; McQueen, Foley, and Deighton 1993), brand personality (Aaker 1997; Plummer 1985) and brand extensions (Aaker and Keller 1990; Nakamoto, MacInnis, and Jung 1993). More recently, researchers have noted that consumers differ not only in how they perceive brands but also in how they relate to brands (Fournier 1998; Muniz and O’Guinn 2001). This line of research has suggested that people sometimes form rela-

*Pankaj Aggarwal is an assistant professor of marketing at the Division of Management, University of Toronto, 1265 Military Trail, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1C 1A4 ( This article was written as part of the author’s dissertation at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. The author wishes to thank Ann L. McGill for her invaluable support and encouragement on the project, for having the patience and the energy to read the innumerable drafts of the article, and for her guidance all along the way as the chairperson of the author’s dissertation committee. The author also thanks his other committee members, Joshua Klayman, France Leclerc, and Stijn van Osselaer, and also Dawn Iacobucci, Richard Larrick, Sharmistha Law, Robert Wyer, and David Zweig, and the JCR editors and reviewers, for their insightful comments and suggestions. The author is...
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