Extended Self Brand Analysis

2212 Words9 Pages
“A key to understanding what possessions mean is recognizing that, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, we regard our possessions as parts of ourselves”. (Belk 1988 p.139). In the past, people gained identity from the groups in which they belonged to, in the form of family, friends etc. In more recent times, consumers employ consumption to create an ideal self (Wattanasuwan 2005) and one can use these brands to enable him/herself to construct their identity (Shankar and Fitchett 2002). Marketers use this to their advantage by trying to portray value in their products or services in the hope that they are congruent with their consumers values as stated by Schenk & Holman (1980). This brings about the recent paradigm whereby…show more content…
Belk (1988 p.478) then goes on to demonstrate how “the extended self serves not only as cues for others to form impressions about us”... but also both intentionally and unintentionally to prompt recollections of our prior experiences, linkages to other experiences and our previous selves (Belk 1991). Belk (2005) reinstates these points but explains how these valued possessions don’t actually have a function in one’s life other than to form part of the extended self and to prompt recollections as previously mentioned. Take an old piano for example. It has been passed down through countless generations, you may not have a notion how to play it but it plays a huge part in identifying who you are and creating this extended self. Noble & Walker (1997) brought the idea of “liminal transitions” into consideration. This was based around Van Gennep’s (1960) framework whereby the events that take place in our lives such as one’s first day at college, marriage etc help to create our identity and not only base the creation on the objects we possess. They also discuss the idea of “symbolic consumption during liminal periods” and how we purchase goods to relate to these liminal events in our lifetime. Something like purchasing a car with your first paycheck or buying a new house when you get…show more content…
As mentioned previously, one can use a product, not based on its function but based on the value it gives them as a consumer. One must also take into consideration the concept of ‘the ideal self’ in order to gain a clearer interpretation. People consume products in order to become who they aspire to be. Marketers utilise this in their campaigns by portraying some sort of ideal realm in the hope that the consumer will buy into it. Consumers have multiple different personalities. Two completely different brands with very different values can help construct a mans self. Wattanasuwan (2005) uses the example of how a businessman can become a completely different self when he leaves his BMW at home after work and puts on his leather jacket to drive a Harley-Davidson. The concept of the Extended Self is one that each consumer can relate to. Consumers have many possessions, ones that they see as extensions of their personalities. Consumers don't see some products as theirs but instead they see it as part of them. It was also necessary to consider the fact that consumers use products based on the pleasurable experience that it gives
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