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

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.


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.


Aric Rindfleisch, University of WIsconsin-Madison, USA
James Burroughs, University of Virginia, USA
Nancy Wong, Georgia Institute of Technology


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Q6. Online Social Status Predicts Subjective Well-being: a Two Population Study

Rui Du, University of Hawaii, USA
Miao Hu, University of Hawaii, USA

Read More


Q4. The notion of self-optimization in context of self-tracking and beyond

Agnieszka Krzeminska, Leuphana University Lüneburg
Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Read More


Cultural Values and Consumers’ Brand Preference

Jessie J. Wang, Miami University, Ohio
Ashok K Lalwani, Indiana University, USA
Devon DelVecchio, Miami University, Ohio

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.