Three types of variable have been used to explain brand preference changes: consumer characteristics, marketing mix factors and situational influences. The study presented in this paper focuses on the relationship between life events experienced by individuals, resultant stress and lifestyle changes and changes in brand preferences. Based on theory and past research, a model is proposed and tested. The data support the notion that brand preference changes may be viewed as the outcome of adjustments to new life conditions and changes in consumption lifestyles that reflect consumer efforts to cope with stressful life changes. Implications for consumer research are also discussed. Copyright © 2003 Henry Stewart Publications.