This research examines the impact of media depictions of success (or failure) on consumers' desire for luxury brands. In a pilot study and three additional studies, we demonstrate that reading a story about a similar/successful other, such as a business major from the same university, increases consumers' expectations about their own future wealth, which in turn increases their desire for luxury brands. However, reading about a dissimilar successful other, such as a biology major, lowers consumers' preferences for luxury brands. Furthermore, we examine the role of ease of imagining oneself in the narrative as a mediator of the relation between direction of comparison, similarity, and brand preference.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology