Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Alexandra Rodriguez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jayati Sinha

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

William Humphrey

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Leslie Frazier

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Self-brand connection, goal pursuit, perceived progress, subsequent choices

Date of Defense



While many marketers spend a considerable amount of their advertising dollars communicating the association between their brands and consumers’ goals, and although it is well established that consumers gravitate toward brands that represent images and ideals they desire to achieve (Chen, Wan & Levy, 2017), existing research is largely silent regarding when and how brands help versus hurt consumer goal pursuit. Thus, we need a greater understanding regarding when and how consumer use of brands to assist in goal pursuit is detrimental versus beneficial. Furthermore, the outcome of the consumer’s brand-assisted goal pursuit is likely to affect their relationship with the brand, just as interpersonal goal pursuit affects personal relationships (Fitszimons and Fishbach, 2010).

In this dissertation, I argue that self-brand connection determines whether brands would be effective in helping consumers achieve their goals, or detrimental. Across four main studies, including fictional scenarios, engaging in a writing task, and solving anagrams, I found that self-brand connection influences consumers perceived progress, subsequent choices and other goal-related constructs such as goal difficulty and goal commitment. Importantly, results from studies conducted in this research suggest that indeed self-brand connection influences consumer behavior during the goal pursuit, accordingly contributing to research interested in self-brand connection and goal research in general.

The work of this dissertation contributes to marketing theory by providing a better understanding of the self-brand connection and its psychological impact on consumers during the goal pursuit. In addition, the results reached in four different studies illuminate the importance of self-brand connection in terms of its positive, and negative, influence on different goal-related constructs such as perceived difficulty, progress and goal-consistent choices.

Finally, this dissertation advances our current knowledge of the influence of self-brand connection on building strong relationships between consumers and brands by helping consumers to achieve their goals and provide the right feedback at the right time to enhance their chances of success. Self-serving attribution biases were included in the studies conducted in this dissertation, which will provide valuable information for marketing managers who are working with products that focus on goals such as Fitbit and Apple Watch. Additionally, this dissertation expands our current knowledge regarding the self-brand connection construct itself. The definitional issues facing this construct are more likely to be resolved by studying the changes occurring to self-brand connection during different stages of the goal pursuit.



Included in

Marketing Commons



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