Brand consumption and narrative of the self



This study investigates how consumers use brands to construct their self. Focusing on the consumer's experience of brands, the study interprets consumer narratives on how brand consumption contributes to the construction of the self. The findings demonstrate that consumers use brands in different ways: symbolic, iconic, and indexical. Apart from the symbolism of brands used to construct the self, consumers also use brands that resemble something in an iconic manner. Additionally, consumers use brands that have a factual connection to something in an indexical way to construct the self. Given these findings, this paper therefore contributes to both theory and practice. Theoretically, the findings support semiotic theory and the relationships between the object, the sign, and the interpretant. More practically, this work shows that recognition of the experiential meaning of brands informs marketers and brand managers on how to effectively market brands. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.