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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference


The difference between compulsive and non-compulsive buyers’ approach to and use of brands: an empirical investigation
(A2020-62648)

Published: May 27, 2020

AUTHORS

Csilla Horvath, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University,The Netherlands; Herm Joosten, Institute for Management Research / Radboud University

KEYWORDS

compulsive buying; brand attachment; brand loyalty

ABSTRACT

This article investigates compulsive buyers’ brand attitude and behaviour and how these differ from non-compulsive buyers in two large-scale, survey-based studies. Our studies reveal astonishing results regarding the attitude and behaviour towards brands between compulsive and non-compulsive buyers. First, our results indicate that contrary to our hypotheses, compulsive buyers develop higher degree of brand attachment, love, and loyalty and engage in more intensive positive and also negative word-of-mouth than non-compulsive buyers. Second, while compulsive buyers seem to develop stronger bonds with brands than non-compulsive buyers, they do not differ from them regarding other, closely related aspects, such as brand trust, willingness to pay more, and brand switching. We provide possible explanation for such unexpected results in the discussion and call for further research on this topic. While our results could indicate that it might be beneficial for brand and store managers to exploit compulsive buyers, we warn them from doing so as in the long-run this approach might not be so profitable. Instead, we indicate other ways to engage compulsive buyers with their brand.