To be or not to be equal : the impact of pride on brands associated with dissociative out-groups

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127–148
Journal / PublicationJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number1
Online published12 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022


Purpose - Brands are increasingly reflecting social values, and many brands have begun to embrace equality and inclusivity as a marketing strategy. Accordingly, consumers are increasingly being exposed to brands associated with different social groups. This paper aims to examine how consumers who have experienced pride respond to brands associated with dissociative out-groups. 
Design/methodology/approach - Four studies were conducted. Study 1 tested the basic effect of how the experience of different facets of pride affects consumers’ brand attitudes toward a brand associated with a dissociative out-group. Studies 2 and 3 examined the underlying mechanism of consumers’ psychological endorsement of egalitarianism using both mediation and moderation approaches. Study 4 derived implications of our findings for marketers. 
Findings - The results show that consumers respond differently to a brand associated with a dissociative out-group based on the facets of pride they experience. When consumers experience authentic (vs hubristic) pride, they exhibit a more favorable attitude toward the brand associated with the dissociative out-group. This is because authentic (vs hubristic) pride increases consumers’ psychological endorsement of egalitarianism, which enhances consumers’ brand attitudes toward the brand associated with the dissociative out-group. 
Practical implications - The findings suggest that brand managers should think about ways to elicit consumers’ authentic pride to minimize the potential backlash from consumers when promoting equality and inclusivity in their brand communications, particularly when such communications contain cues of dissociative out-groups. 
Originality/value - This paper contributes to the branding literature by identifying pride as an important determinant that can help brands overcome the negative impact of dissociative out-groups on consumers’ brand reactions, enriches the literature on pride by documenting a novel effect of the two facets of pride on consumer behavior and extends the literature of egalitarianism by demonstrating pride as a driver of consumers’ psychological endorsement of egalitarianism.

Research Area(s)

  • Brand association, Brand attitude, Dissociative out-group, Egalitarianism, Pride