The influence of social crowding on brand attachment
Huang, Irene Xun
Huang, Tak Zhongqiang
Jr., Robert S. Wyer
Date of Issue2017
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Institute on Asian Consumer Insight
Feeling crowded in a shopping environment can decrease consumers’ evaluations of a product or service and lower customer satisfaction. However, the present research suggests that a crowded environment can sometimes have a positive impact on consumer behavior. Although feeling crowded motivates consumers to avoid interacting with others, it leads them to become more attached to brands as an alternative way of maintaining their basic need for belongingness. The effect does not occur (a) when the crowding environment is composed of familiar people (and, therefore, is not considered aversive); (b) when individuals have an interdependent self-construal (and consequently, high tolerance for crowdedness); (c) when people are accompanied by friends in the crowded environment; (d) when the social function of the brands is made salient; (e) when people have never used the brand before; or (f) when the brand is referred to as a general product rather than a specific brand.
Journal of Consumer Research
© 2017 The Author(s). All rights reserved. This paper was published by Oxford University Press in Journal of Consumer Research and is made available with permission of The Author(s).