That is so not me

Dissociating from Undesired Consumer Identities

Authored by: Lea Dunn , Katherine White , Darren W. Dahl

The Routledge Companion to Identity and Consumption

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415783064
eBook ISBN: 9780203105337
Adobe ISBN: 9781136253522

10.4324/9780203105337.ch28

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Abstract

Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi from MTV’s Jersey Shore was well known for always being photographed with her Coach purse. In August 2010 she received media attention for shunning her trademark Coach for a Gucci bag instead. The interesting part of the story, however, was not that she had a sudden change in brand preference, but that Coach had carefully orchestrated the switch: by sending her their competition’s products Coach hoped to decrease the undesirable associations of having Snookie seen using their brand! Similarly, in August 2011 clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch paid Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (another Jersey Shore celebrity) to stop wearing their clothes because they were “ … deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with [their] brand could cause significant damage to [their] image” (Heller 2011); that is, they were worried that other consumers might avoid the Abercrombie brand because of these undesirable identity associations. These two incidents demonstrate preemptive marketing strategies to mitigate customer dissociation tendencies (i.e. the avoidance of products and/or brands that are associated with undesired social identities).

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