Nothing Can Tear Us Apart: The Effect of Brand Identity Fusion in Consumer–Brand Relationships

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Abstract

While existing literature describes strong brand relationships along several dimensions, this research sheds light on the identity perspective of consumer–brand relationships through the lens of brand identity fusion. Specifically, this research examines the effect of brand identity fusion on consumers’ responses to different brand transgressions. By comparing brand identity fusion with brand identification, this research also provides evidence that brand identity fusion is more predictive and enduring in explaining consumers’ relationship-serving biases and prorelationship behaviors in the face of brand transgressions. The applicability of brand identity fusion for understanding connections between consumers and brand relationship partners in consumer–brand relationships is presented, followed by discussions of theoretical and managerial implications and directions for future research.