Little research has focused on understanding how the misuse of consumers' names in the marketplace impacts consumption. Building on the motivation and personal identity threat literatures, we explore the impact of being identified by someone else's given name in the marketplace. We find that consumers exhibit avoidance behaviors when misidentified (versus remaining unidentified or being correctly identified), which is mediated by feelings of respect. We also show that misidentification effects are moderated by ego fragility (i.e., as measured by implicit self-esteem), with the effects more pronounced among those with more fragile egos. We attenuate this effect via self-affirmation, showing that misidentified consumers who have been affirmed no longer exhibit product avoidance responses. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Implicit self-esteem