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Negative symbolic consumption and consumers’ drive for self‐esteem: The case of the fashion industry

Emma N. Banister (Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK)
Margaret K. Hogg (Manchester School of Management, UMIST, Manchester, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 July 2004

Abstract

Self‐esteem is an important motivational drive for consumption involving both the acceptance and rejection/avoidance of symbolic goods. This paper examines the relationship between self‐esteem and the rejection of goods and brands within the context of fashion consumption by young professionals. A conceptualisation which accounts for consumers’ use of various strategies in their efforts to maintain or enhance their self‐esteem is suggested. A small‐scale exploratory study is used to examine first, how consumers invest products and brands with negative symbolic meanings; and second, how this leads consumers to reject products and brands. The importance of understanding negative symbolic consumption when marketing high involvement products such as fashion goods is identified; and the implications for fashion retailers and marketing management are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Banister, E.N. and Hogg, M.K. (2004), "Negative symbolic consumption and consumers’ drive for self‐esteem: The case of the fashion industry", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 850-868. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560410539285

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited