Strong attachment toward human brand: Its antecedents and implication for the quality of life

Article


Kim, C., Jun, M., Kim, M. and Han, J. 2010. Strong attachment toward human brand: Its antecedents and implication for the quality of life. Journal of Consumer Studies. 21 (4), pp. 241-275.
TypeArticle
TitleStrong attachment toward human brand: Its antecedents and implication for the quality of life
AuthorsKim, C., Jun, M., Kim, M. and Han, J.
Abstract

TIME and FORBES which are well-known worldwide media announce most influential and popular 100 people every year. Every time they announce the list, world shows interest in who would be in the list every year. This new social phenomenon indicates that people perceive well-known persona like TV stars or sports stars etc. as human brands. As the role of these human brands is getting more important, people tend to develop strong attachment toward them. Another notable social phenomenon in these days is people’s pursuit of satisfaction with life or social well-being. People want to increase quality of life by having quality time with family and friends, and also attachment with celebrities, sports stars, and so on. Thus, the central purposes of this article are to address why people develop attachments toward human brands and how the attachment toward human brands affects quality of life. In order to achieve these goals, we conducted 2 studies. In study 1, we examined how the A-R-C needs (autonomy, relatedness and competence needs) fulfillment as antecedents affects strong attachment toward human brands and how the attachment toward human brands affects life satisfaction. In study 2, based on previous researches we divided human brands into two types which are heroes and celebrities. Heroes are defined as people who have considerable and lasting importance at both society and individual level and celebrities are defined as people who are well-known but who have less or no impact at both society and individual level for a shorter period time. Afterward we examined how A-R-C needs fulfillment affects attachment toward each types of human brands and how attachment toward each types of human brands affects life satisfaction. Major findings from study 1 are that A-R-C needs fulfillment has positive impact on developing strong attachment toward human brands and the attachment toward human brands also has positive impact on life satisfaction in general. That is, more human brands fulfill people's A-R-C needs, stronger attachment people develop toward human brands and stronger attachment people develop toward human brands, more satisfaction people feel about life. Major findings from study 2 are that A-R-C needs fulfillment has positive impact on developing attachment toward both heroes and celebrities. However, only the attachment toward heroes has positive impact on life satisfaction while the attachment toward celebrities has no impact on life satisfaction. This result suggests the difference between heroes and celebrities and emphasizes importance of role heroes play in increasing quality of life. In terms of major findings combined from study 1 and 2, the present research has three contributions. First, in contrast to previous research on strong attachment toward human brands that had revealed only autonomy and relatedness needs fulfillment positively affects forming strong attachment toward human brands(Thomson 2006, Ahn and Lee 2010), our research empirically proved that all of the A-R-C needs fulfillment has positive impact on developing strong attachment toward human brands for the first time. Second, our research empirically analyzed life satisfaction at personal level as the outcome variables of attachment toward human brands. In contrast to most researches on brand attachment that focused on brand commitment, brand loyalty and so on at corporate or products level, our research showed meaningful results by focusing on quality of life rather than products. Third, our research emphasized role of heroes by dividing human brands into celebrities and heroes. The result of study 2 showed that the attachment toward heroes increases quality of life by having people feel more satisfaction about life while the attachment toward celebrities doesn’t. Thus, heroes who have considerable and lasting importance at both society and individual level can play very important role to increase quality of life. Although the present research gives considerable contributions, there are some limitations and further researches we would like to address. First, while our research shows that competence need fulfillment positively affects to develop strong attachment toward human brands, other studies showed different results. Therefore, more study would be necessary to find out the role of competence need fulfillment in forming attachment. Second, while heroes positively affect life satisfaction, celebrities does not. According to Frankl(1997), people pursue three types of value, entertainment, power, meaning. Of these three values Frankl(1997) suggested, entertainment and power values may represent shortterm value that celebrities have while meaning value may represent long-term value that heroes have. Hence, further research should empirically study if there is relationship between values Frankl suggested and values that heroes and celebrities have. Third, although the present research assessed life satisfaction level as the outcome of attachment toward human brands, further research should adopt more comprehensive wellbeing index which is more detailed multidimensional scale to assess quality of life as the outcome of attachment toward human brands.

Sustainable Development Goals9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageKorean
PublisherKorea Consumer Association
JournalJournal of Consumer Studies
ISSN1226-282X
Electronic2733-9629
Publication dates
Print2010
Publication process dates
Accepted2010
Deposited31 Oct 2023
Output statusPublished
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