Self-ExpressionOpen Access

Self-Expression

We constantly seek out ways to communicate our identity to others

Brands and their products act as extensions of ourselves, allowing us to express our values, characteristics or emotions to others.

Melumad, He, and Pham (2017). The pleasure of liking (disliking). Journal of Consumer Research.

The study

Setup

274 people were shown 10 t-shirts, split into 4 groups and then asked to rate the shirts on either likeability, casualness, colorfulness or how much it matched with a cap. They were then asked how fun the task was.

Results

Those given the ability to express their like or dislike rated the task as much more fun than the other groups. Simply, we value ways to express how we feel.

Study graph

Key Takeaways

Personalization pays. Bold, scaleable self-expressive features increase loyalty and sales. Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke campaign - switching out the product name for a person’s name - led to a 10% rise in 2014 sales and a 7% spike in Facebook growth. An Australian store sold 400,000 customized jars of Nutella for $10 each, becoming their top seller.

Takeaway image

Tie it back to emotions. Though there are successes like Kraft Heinz personalized soup “Get Well Soon ___”, with consumers happy to spend five times more, know that personalization has upper bounds on price and has less impact as it becomes more common.

Like Heinz, the smartest brands will tie personalization to underlying product emotions - care and sympathy in this case. What emotions do you want end consumers to feel? Use personalization to help express these publicly.  

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
Takeaway image
Self-Expression

Self-Expression

We constantly seek out ways to communicate our identity to others

Brands and their products act as extensions of ourselves, allowing us to express our values, characteristics or emotions to others.

The study

Setup

274 people were shown 10 t-shirts, split into 4 groups and then asked to rate the shirts on either likeability, casualness, colorfulness or how much it matched with a cap. They were then asked how fun the task was.

Results

Those given the ability to express their like or dislike rated the task as much more fun than the other groups. Simply, we value ways to express how we feel.

study graph
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