Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the applicability of the consumer-brand typology developed by Fournier to a segment of heterosexual male shoppers of fashion and grooming products.
Design/methodology/approach – In-depth interviews, collage constructions, and shopping trip observations are the three methods of inquiry in this research.
Findings – A total of 13 of the 15 brand relationships detailed by Fournier are affirmed. Three new relationships emerge in the data demonstrating the fluidity of the typology across market segments and sociocultural contexts.
Research limitations/implications – The research findings provide implications for other consumption contexts which aid in identity construction. In addition, some of the new relationships that emerge from the text may be prevalent among other segments of men, and/or women.
Practical implications – Managers must be cognizant of the variety of brand relationships that men form with regard to fashion and grooming in order to effectively appeal to this growing market.
The new relationships identified exhibit the goal-driven nature of men’s engagement with brands. The prevalence of secretive and adversarial relationships also demonstrates that marketers and retailers must be mindful of men’s boundaries of consumption.
Originality/value – Fournier highlights the importance of context to brand relationships. However, little research has investigated the relevance of the original typology across contexts and across segments. This research explores a particular sociocultural consumption context and discovers new relationship forms not previously identified among a segment of male shoppers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/linda_tuncay_zayer/2/