Brand Saturation in Consumer Choice

Alexander Chernev, Northwestern University, USA
David Gal, Northwestern University, USA
There is a growing sentiment among many marketers that brands are losing power. In this research, we examine this proposition by investigating the antecedents of the decline in brand power. Building on the view of brands as a means of expressing one’s identity, we argue that the decline in brand power could be attributed to the increase in alternative means of self-expression. We posit that the proliferation of self-expressive brands, as well as other non-brand means of self-expression, has diminished the personal relevance of many individual brands – a phenomenon we refer to as “brand saturation.” We document the brand saturation effect in a series of four experiments investigating the cross-category and cross-functional nature of brand competition for a share of consumers’ identity.
[ to cite ]:
Alexander Chernev and David Gal (2009) ,"Brand Saturation in Consumer Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 90-92.