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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

I Like, Therefore I Am! – When and Why Do Consumers Enjoy to Express Their Product Liking?

Published: May 25, 2021


Julia Sophia Wittich, Chair of Marketing, RWTH Aachen University; Jan Landwehr, Goethe University Frankfurt; Daniel Wentzel, Chair of Marketing, RWTH Aachen University


In this paper, we investigate how preference sharing, as done for instance, in conversations about one’s new favorite song or on social media via liking a celebrity’s outfit, influences consumers’ enjoyment. Past research suggests that consumers may find expressing their “likes” and “dislikes” inherently pleasurable because it allows them to express their self. In two preregistered experiments, we (1) successfully replicate the finding that expressions of liking lead to greater task enjoyment, (2) show that this effect occurs because liking is associated with higher self-expression and processing fluency, and (3) demonstrate that these effects are stronger for hedonic than for utilitarian products. In doing so, our findings enhance our understanding of the effect of sharing one’s preferences and suggest that companies may benefit from allowing consumers to publicly express their likes and dislikes.