Images of success and the preference for luxury brands

Naomi Mandel, Petia K. Petrova, Robert B. Cialdini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


This research examines the impact of media depictions of success (or failure) on consumers' desire for luxury brands. In a pilot study and three additional studies, we demonstrate that reading a story about a similar/successful other, such as a business major from the same university, increases consumers' expectations about their own future wealth, which in turn increases their desire for luxury brands. However, reading about a dissimilar successful other, such as a biology major, lowers consumers' preferences for luxury brands. Furthermore, we examine the role of ease of imagining oneself in the narrative as a mediator of the relation between direction of comparison, similarity, and brand preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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