Saving your self: How identity relevance influences product usage

Daniel Sheehan, Sara Loughran Dommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although research has consistently demonstrated that people prefer to purchase products and brands that represent their identity, relatively little research has examined how this identity relevance influences product usage. Drawing from work on intertemporal choice, the present work proposes a conceptual framework for the influence of identity on product usage. The authors theorize and demonstrate an identity conservation effect, in that consumers are less likely to use nondurable identity products compared to nonidentity products because the tradeoff between possession value and in-use value is larger for identity products. Six studies demonstrate the identity conservation effect and provide support for the value tradeoff framework through both mediation and theoretically supported moderation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1092
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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