Brand loyalty can rob you of time, money

Washington: Beware of loyalty to a brand - it can rob you of your time, money, energy and reputation, researchers say.

A study by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business says consumers can sometimes forge such a strong emotional bond with a brand, that if forced to buy a competitor`s product, they suffer pangs of anxiety and guilt.

In fact, that bond can make consumers willingly sacrifice time, money, energy and reputation to maintain their attachment to that brand, reports the Journal of Marketing.

The study has been conducted by Whan Park, professor of marketing, Deborah J. MacInnis, professor of business administration, and Joseph Priester, associate professor of marketing, along with others, a statement of the university said.

The study indicates that brand attachment has much stronger impact on consumers than previously believed.

It is brand attachment that explains consumers` devotion to the iPod, fans` intense reaction at celebrity deaths and the torment of teenagers who are denied their favourite brand of jeans.

Through brand attachment, the study suggests, consumers see the brands as an extension of themselves.