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” s been a lot of work done over the years on understanding brands and typically typically we think about an individual s relationship with a brand you re an apple or you re a budweiser fan. Or whatever the case might be today. We re going to add an extra wrinkle to it by recognizing that many of us don t live our lives in silos. We don t live by ourselves rather we live with someone else oftentimes.
A romantic partner when you live with a romantic partner you not only have your own brand preferences. You are going to live with their brand preferences. So we started talking a little bit and when i say we i should. Acknowledge this is work that danielle.
Brick did was a former phd. Student. At fuqua. As part of her dissertation.
Research. Danielle. Worked with myself. With my sister.
Gr. Inne. Fitzsimons. Who s a professor in the management area and with tanya chartrand.
Who s my wife and also a faculty member in the marketing area so the four of us worked on this project..
Where we were interested in how my brand preferences might align. With my partner s brand preferences. And whether that makes a difference at all we started acknowledging and recognizing that sometimes our brand preferences align. Perfectly right i might like bud light and if my partner likes bud light that s great we align.
We re compatible. We call it brand compatibility. So we re really compatible. There the question.
Though is what happens. If you don t align on compatibility with your partner in terms of brands. What if you re brand incompatible at some level. It sounds like oh big deal they like bud light.
I like coors light. Who cares well it turns out that you should care because it has a big impact. We re actually going to draw a link between brand compatibility or lack thereof and how happy you are in life and that sounds kind of crazy okay. But let me sort of walk you through a little bit of the logic.
Here imagine that you have a different connection to a brand than your partner does so i m a big diet coke person imagine that my partner. My wife is a diet pepsi person. It s probably fairly likely that a reasonable amount of the time. I m going to be subjected to diet pepsi instead of diet coke.
If she does the grocery shopping..
She might. Buy diet pepsi and bring it home and then i get diet coke or i get diet pepsi instead of my diet. Coke alright. So that might not seem like a big deal if it only happens once.
But what if i m a colgate person. And she s a crest person and now there s crest in the bathroom. What if she s a starbucks person and i m a dunkin donuts coffee person. We re on our way to commute into work.
Together. We re only going to stop at one spot guess. Where we re stopping starbucks instead of dunkin donuts for coffee. All of these little brand incompatibilities add up to lead to one partner.
Maybe not feeling so great about the brand choices that they re getting to make in their life. And so that lack of sort of brand compatibility plays out where one partner kind of gets their way and another partner oftentime. Doesn t one of the things that we look at in relationships is how much power do you have in the relationship. So if you re a high power person.
We think about that as you have the ability to influence your partner. If you re a low power person though you don t really have a strong ability to influence your partner. If we re brand compatible. It s a perfect world life s great we both get what we want all the time.
Now let s introduce brand incompatibility..
Now. If you have a different brand preference than me and you re high power you re going to get what you want if i m low power. I m not going to get what i want as a result. The low power person gets repeatedly overlooked in terms of what brands they would like maybe again not such a big deal you might not think it matters that much as we started investigating.
Danielle dug deeper and deeper. We found that it actually has an enormous impact on people and in fact we go the whole way down to how satisfied you are with your life. If you are incompatible brand wise with your partner you end up much less happy in life not with your brands not with your consumption choices. But with your actual life than you otherwise would be we can push it even further danielle looked to see what are the maybe.
This is just compatibility in general and maybe i m not happy in my life. Because i m incompatible with my partner in general. So we looked at all the things if you think about if you asked your grandma what makes a good partner in a relationship. What would your grandma say she d say well they should be from a similar background.
They should have similar educational backgrounds. Maybe same religion. Maybe they should have the same political affiliations. The same beliefs about what s valued in life etc.
So danielle took all of those things we measured all of those in real couples. We also measured how compatible people were on their brands. Did an analysis of all of these things. And lo and behold what pops out as essentially the only really meaningful.
Compatibility dimension to predict life satisfaction brand compatibility alright..
So it s not about whether you re the same religion. It s not about whether you have the same education etc. It s about whether you have the same brands as your partner now again that sounds kind of crazy. But if you think it through if you start a relationship with somebody and they seem great.
But they re of let s say a different religious faith than you you re either going to work that out real quickly or you re going to split up now imagine you start dating someone and they re really smart they re funny. They think you re really smart you re really funny. It s a great connection and you find out that you re a diet coke person and they are huge diet pepsi fans are you really going to kick this person to the curb because they like diet pepsi and you like diet coke. My guess is the answer is no so now play that out what have you signed up for you have signed up for a life of diet pepsi in the fridge.
When you want diet coke you ve signed up for a life of at the end of the day or the beginning of the day you go in there to get your favorite brand and boom. It s not there your partner s brand is there similarly with the toothpaste similarly with cars with coffee with all of these things we call. It death. By a thousand brand cuts over and over and over again until you die you will be subjected to the brand preferences of your partner.
That are incompatible with your brand preferences and thus we find that it s really this notion of compatibility on brand that s a huge driver of how happy people are so how does this play out well first off one of the things that we think one might want to do early in a relationship is think about does the person have similar brand preferences to me or not. And if the answer is no go against what grandma says and maybe kick that person to the curb. And don t worry so much about whether they are big whether they align perfectly with you on education on religion etc. It s really about the little things and in this case.
It seems little brand compatibility how can it matter don t find yourself in a lifetime of a thousand brand cuts. ” ..
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Join us for our latest Fuqua Faculty Conversation as Gavan Fitzsimons, Edward and Rose Donnell Professor, Marketing, presents “Brand Compatibility.”
In this short video you will learn:
– If it matters that you and your partner are brand compatible
– How brand compatibility affects your overall happiness
– If Grandma s dating advice matters
Duke, University, Duke University, Fuqua, School, Business, The Fuqua School of Business, MBA, Durham, NC, Gavan Fitzsimons, brands, brand compatibility, Dan…