Role of affect and cognition in consumer brand relationship: exploring gender differences

Arvind Sahay (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India)
Nivedita Sharma (Marketing, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pune, India)
Krishnesh Mehta (Design, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India)

Journal of Indian Business Research

ISSN: 1755-4195

Publication date: 16 March 2012



The purpose of this paper is to explore gender differences in consumer brand relationships with respect to affect and cognition, also to examine the difference between genders with respect to the impact of variables such as age and influence of peers and family on consumer brand relationships


For this study, a field experiment approach was used, combined with depth interviews. The experiment was a three‐step process where respondents were first taken through a Resonant Field Imaging (RFI™) in order to identify the types and function of all bio‐energies present in the specific regions of the human brain. In the second step, this was followed by a conversation of about 30 minutes about the respondent's most preferred brand. As the final step, a brain scan was again taken to access the bio‐energies in the brain of the respondent subsequent to the conversation about the most preferred brand.


The authors find that while both men and women form relationships with brands, these relationships are more affect based for women and more cognition based for men; this finding holds for respondents at a younger age. As time passes, this difference between men and women narrows. By the age of 35, women's brand relationships tend to become relatively less affect based and more functional. The authors provide insights into the effect of family and peers on brand relationships.

Research limitations/implications

This study is conducted in the age group of 18 to 35 years across SEC A and B as they have greater exposure to brands in order to form relationships. Hence, it would be difficult to generalize this study across all the socio‐economic classes.

Practical implications

The study would help managers devise strategies for both the genders and across different age groups, in order to establish relationships with their brands.

Social implications

The study provides insights into the psychological behavior of men and women with respect to their interactions with brands. It throws light on the change in behavior with increasing age and how the basis for relationships formation varies.


The paper combines gender differences and the role of affect and cognition in the marketing context.



Sahay, A., Sharma, N. and Mehta, K. (2012), "Role of affect and cognition in consumer brand relationship: exploring gender differences", Journal of Indian Business Research, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 36-60.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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