The Janus Face of Ideal Self-Congruence : Benefits for the Brand versus Emotional Distress for the Consumer

Malär, Lucia Andrea; Herzog, Daniela; Krohmer, Harley; Hoyer, Wayne David; Kähr, Andrea (2018). The Janus Face of Ideal Self-Congruence : Benefits for the Brand versus Emotional Distress for the Consumer. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 3(2), pp. 163-174. University of Chicago Press 10.1086/697080

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Branding strategies that target the consumer’s ideal self may not always be effective, as they elicit both positive and negative consumer reactions and emotions. In a series of studies, we demonstrate that congruence between the brand’s personality and the consumer’s ideal self improves the consumer’s attitude toward the brand through anticipated self-enhancement but also increases his or her negative self-conscious emotions through envy. These consumer reactions depend on the type of ideals represented by the brand (agentic vs. communal ideals) and on consumers’ self-discrepancy. Our research emphasizes the importance of examining both the risks and the rewards of branding strategies that target consumers’ ideal self-congruence and highlights the need to take a contingency perspective when doing so.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Marketing

UniBE Contributor:

Malär, Lucia Andrea, Herzog, Daniela, Krohmer, Harley, Hoyer, Wayne David, Giuffredi-Kähr, Andrea


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




University of Chicago Press




Andrea Kähr

Date Deposited:

07 May 2018 12:42

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

ideal self-congruence; envy; self-enhancement; self-conscious emotions




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