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Consumers' use of brands to reflect their actual and ideal selves on Facebook

Candice R. Hollenbeck and Andrew M. Kaikati

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2012, vol. 29, issue 4, 395-405

Abstract: How do consumers represent their identities on online social media platforms? In this article, we focus on consumers' use of brands on their Facebook pages as subtle cues to represent their selves. Although recent research suggests that consumers present an actual, not an ideal self, our data reveal that veridical presentations of the actual self through brands rarely exist. Furthermore, we contribute to an understanding of how multiple selves interact to inform brand connections. We offer insights into how and why consumers either blend or integrate their actual and ideal selves or choose one of them exclusively when these selves conflict. Additional contributions and future directions in the areas of self, branding, and social media are discussed.

Keywords: Consumer identity; Self-concept; Self-expression; Actual self; Ideal self; Social networking; Social media; Facebook (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ijrema:v:29:y:2012:i:4:p:395-405