The Safety of Objects: an Examination of Materialism and Brand Connections

Aric Rindfleisch, University of WIsconsin-Madison, USA
James Burroughs, University of Virginia, USA
Nancy Wong, Georgia Institute of Technology
Consumers across many parts of the globe place considerable value on the acquisition of material objects. Over the past two decades, researchers have sought to establish how materialism is formed and how this value influences individual and collective well-being. However, these studies shed little light on this value’s influence on brand consumption. Our research seeks to address this gap by examining the relationship between materialism and brand connections. We suggest that individuals with high levels of materialism will exhibit strong ties to the brands they consume as a means of coping with uncertainty. We test this premise by conducting an initial study among 363 Americans, as well as a replication and extension-focused study among 300 Singaporeans. Our results provide strong support for our conceptualization and suggest that materialism encourages consumers to form strong connections with their brands. These results present a new perspective of materialism by suggesting that highly materialistic individuals are not just selfish status seekers but also seekers of communal meaning.
[ to cite ]:
Aric Rindfleisch, James Burroughs, and Nancy Wong (2007) ,"The Safety of Objects: an Examination of Materialism and Brand Connections", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 112-113.