Ferraro, Rosellina, Amna Kirmani, and Ted Matherly (2013), “Look at Me! Look at Me! Conspicuous Brand Usage, Self-Brand Connection, and Dilution,” Journal of Marketing Research, (2013), 50 (August), 477-488. (Preprint)
Conspicuous brand usage, defined as attention-getting use of a brand, causes brand dilution under certain conditions. This research examines changes in observers’ attitudes toward a brand after seeing a brand user engaged in conspicuous use of the brand. The authors propose that observers infer that a consumer engaged in conspicuous brand usage is driven by an ulterior motive of impression management. When observers have low self-brand connection, they exhibit less favorable attitudes toward both the brand user and the brand. In contrast, observers with high self-brand connection maintain their favorable view of the brand in the face of a conspicuous brand user. Three studies demonstrate the brand dilution effect of conspicuous brand usage.