Brands: the Opiate of the Non-Religious Masses?

Ron Shachar, Tel Aviv University, Israel and Duke University, USA
Tulin Erdem, New York University, USA
Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Duke University, USA
Keisha Cutright, Duke University, USA
Researchers have suggested that people often form religious-like relationships with brands. The popular press has even proclaimed brands as the “new religion”. This research aims to understand whether or not there is a significant relationship between consumers’ religiosity and their reliance on brand name products. First, we analyze the relationship between religiosity and brand reliance in the U.S. at a macro level, using state level data. Next, we examine the relationship between individual levels of religiosity and brand reliance. Our results suggest that non-religious consumers rely on brands more than religious consumers, particularly when income is high.
[ to cite ]:
Ron Shachar, Tulin Erdem, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, and Keisha Cutright (2009) ,"Brands: the Opiate of the Non-Religious Masses?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 990-991.