Attachment Styles and Brand Relationships: An Abstract

Melika Kordrostami, Elika Kordrostami, Vahid Rahmani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Brand relationships can take the similar characteristics and dynamics as interpersonal relationships. Previous research showed that individuals form different types of relationships with brands that are similar to interpersonal relationships: committed partnerships, marriages of convenience and best friendships, or short-term relationships such as flings or negative relationships such as enslavements (Fournier 1998). One of the factors that impact interpersonal relationships is the attachment style of the individuals. As brand relationships are similar to interpersonal relationships, the current research investigates the impact of attachment style on brand relationships. Attachment theory proposes that amount of care and comfort that infants receive impact their future relationships (Bowlby 1969). Two dimensions of attachment theory include avoidance (seeking independence) and anxiety (fear of rejection) which are used to define attachment styles in individuals. Previous research showed that individuals who are low in both avoidance and anxiety dimensions are more likely to have trust, friendship, and positive emotions in their relationships (Hazan and Shaver 1987). Previous research in the marketing literature showed that attachment styles can impact repurchase intention, trust, and satisfaction in a B-2-B context (Paulssen 2009). Current research investigates the impact of anxiety and avoidance on forming brand relationships. This research proposes that high level of avoidance in individuals has a negative impact on brand relationships at the beginning stage, because individuals who are high in avoidance are not willing to form close relationships with brands. However, anxiety does not influence this relationship at the beginning stage, as highly anxious individuals are preoccupied with their current relationships. Using an experiment with a fictitious brand for a consumer good product, the research hypotheses were tested and supported. This research extends theory in brand relationships and attachment styles, and it has important contributions for practitioners. Future research might study the impact of attachment styles on other stages of brand relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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