The Dimensions of Brand Consistent Behavior

Maureen Kallick, Kenyon & Eckhardt Advertising
Joseph Nearby, Carter Wallace, Inc.
Jay Shaffer, Sperry & Hutchinson
[ to cite ]:
Maureen Kallick, Joseph Nearby, and Jay Shaffer (1974) ,"The Dimensions of Brand Consistent Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 01, eds. Scott Ward and Peter Wright, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 460-462.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, 1974    Pages 460-462


Maureen Kallick, Kenyon & Eckhardt Advertising

Joseph Nearby, Carter Wallace, Inc.

Jay Shaffer, Sperry & Hutchinson


The term Brand Consistent Behavior is suggested as a better descriptor of the phenomena of repeated purchase of brands rather than brand loyalty which evokes connotations of emotional involvement frequently absent in the performance of this behavior.

A pyramid model containing three sides, three levels and three sub-groups is introduced as a better theoretical structure from which to view the phenomena of brand consistent behavior.


The three sides represent three dimensions needed for understanding consumer behavior - these are cognition, affect and facilities.

Cognition represents what the conscious mind is doing. Affect represents emotion or feelings about brands of products and facilities represents the total allocation of ones resources which are in readiness for the action of purchase that is, time and effort as well as money.

Each of the three sub-groups shown as the height dimension of this pyramid represent prototypes of involvement which in actuality may well be a continuum rather than three discrete groups. Nevertheless, for purpose of understanding the structure it seems best to view them in their overripeness so as to pinpoint the ma]or differentiating factors of the continuum


The largest triangular ring (nearest the inside of the pyramid or the base) represents the limited involvement group. In essence they just don't have any opinion or feelings about the particular product class under study. In these cases consumers buy primarily by:

What is familiar (cognition)

Acceptance (affect)

Minimal effort (facilities)

Although she may consistently purchase the same brand, marketing a product to her should be very different than marketing to other groups. This group is least vulnerable to advertising. That is, they are not apt to allocate time or effort to watch, listen or read advertising about products or brands in the category. They are vulnerable, however, to brand availability or distribution. If a brand is not available when they are shopping, they will certainly select an alternative. This group is also vulnerable to promotions and price-offs.


On the cognition side of the pyramid, we are talking about functionalism and gratification. Consumers think about the products at this level. Furthermore, they think about them in terms of benefits and attributes. They seek-out products to perform specific benefits and attributes and priorize the benefits and attributes they feel are most important for product performance.

On the affect side, the consumer gives product or brand approval and shows preference. Many brands in a category may perform their basic functions, but it is only one which does it better or best for "me" on specific attributes. These consumers are willing and in fact do allocate time and effort to familiarize and learn about products and brands. They are attuned to advertising to gain additional information.

Therefore, in marketing to this group it is important to note the group seeks out advertising and pays special attention to advertising which emphasizes rational product difference and performance. This group is also vulnerable to new product introduction while not especially vulnerable to distribution, pricing and promotion.


As facilities were the prime issue in limited involvement and cognition, the prime issues in moderate involvement so affect is the prime issue in high involvement.

At the high level of involvement with the brand, we identify two emotional attachments to the brand: loyalty to the brand and commitment to the brand.

In our sense of loyalty, the consumer feels identified with the brand; consumer and brand are perceived as bonded into some common association. Most typically, brand loyalty affect arises out of the consumers long association with the brand. He or she associates important memories and experiences with the brand and would defend the brand as he would defend himself,'I'd sooner fight, than switch."

Given the loyalty affect, they perceive the brand as more than a functional object. The brand is a symbol of self and has emotional significance.

In this system, commitment represents the highest emotional attachment to the brand. Thus he may perceive the brand not so much from a functional nor from a personal point of view but as representing his own values, as a part of a valued ritual. At this high level of involvement with the brand, the consumer sets aside certain facilities for brand purchase. Facilities are reserved for the brand and unavailable for other brands. Thus it is understandable that they are not vulnerable to most brand advertising but are vulnerable to changes in their "brand's personality image." This group is also vulnerable to major changes in product or package as well as company policies.

The high involvement group is not vulnerable to distribution - packaging pricing or promotion.


This model suggests that current research designs and questioning procedures are not sufficient to ferret out and discriminate between the various levels of consistent behavior groups. Furthermore, the model suggests that determining the size and nature of these groups would lead to more effective and meaningful marketing strategies.