Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how adolescents’ self-concept and brand image congruency are related to their level of liking for an apparel brand. It also aims to examine whether this relationship varies depending on adolescents’ gender and identity development.
Design/methodology/approach – Self-image congruency theory was used to investigate whether adolescents’ liking for an apparel brand was related to perceived congruency between aspects of self-concept and apparel brand. Male and female adolescents (n ¼ 140) between 14 and 18 years of age participated.
Findings – Adolescent consumers liked apparel brands that they linked to their ideal social self-concept. This connection was particularly strong for male adolescents with less established identities.
Research limitations/implications – Adolescents liked an apparel brand when they reported a link between the brand and ideal social self-concept. These adolescents may have used apparel brands to shape the views others formed of them.
Originality/value – Many questions concerning the basis for adolescents’ apparel brand preferences have not been answered. Our research documents how male and female adolescents use branded apparel products in relation to their identity development status.
- Apparel brand
- Brand image
- Identity development