∞ Study: Fanboys confuse brands with self-image

Ars Technica:

You may think you’re defending your favorite platform because it’s just that good. But, according to a recently published study out of the University of Illinois, you may instead be defending yourself because you view criticisms of your favorite brand as a threat to your self image. The study, which will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, examines the strength of consumer-brand relationships, concluding that those who have more knowledge of and experience with a brand are more personally impacted by incidents of brand “failure.”

We certainly have seen this phenomenon strongly manifest in the Apple community, though we’re not the only ones, and it isn’t just with technology, either. I’m curious to understand better the reason some people develop such a fierce “Self-Brand Connection,” as the researchers put it. Is it little more that misplaced 21st century tribalism, or is there something else at work?