Consumer engagement with self-expressive brands: brand love and WOM outcomes

Elaine Wallace, Isabel Buil, Leslie de Chernatony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore attitudes of consumers who engage with brands through Facebook "likes". It explores the extent to which these brands are self-expressive and examines the relationship between brand "liking" and brand outcomes. Brand outcomes include brand love and advocacy, where advocacy incorporates WOM and brand acceptance.
Design/methodology/approach: Findings are presented from a survey of Facebook users who engage with a brand by "liking" it.
Findings: Brands "liked" are expressive of the inner or social self. The study identifies a positive relationship between the self-expressive nature of brands "liked" and brand love. Consumers who engage with inner self-expressive brands are more likely to offer WOM for that brand. By contrast, consumers who engage with socially self-expressive brands are more likely to accept wrongdoing from a brand.
Research limitations/implications: The research is exploratory and is limited to consumers who are engaged with a brand through "liking" it on the Facebook social network.
Practical implications: The study offers suggestions for managers seeking to enhance brand engagement through Facebook "liking", and to encourage positive brand outcomes (such as WOM) among consumers already engaged with a brand on Facebook.
Originality/value: This paper provides new insights into consumer brand engagement evidenced through Facebook "liking". It charts the relationship between "liked" self-expressive brands and brand love. Distinctions are drawn between brand outcomes among consumers who "like" for socially self-expressive reasons, and consumers who are brand engaged by "liking" to express their inner selves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2014


  • Facebook
  • consumer behaviour
  • word of mouth
  • self-expressive brands
  • brand love
  • brand engagement
  • advocacy


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