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Concept of extended self and impact on consumer behaviour

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Consumers acknowledge that the possessions they own have an intimate tie up with the concept of self. Ownership and utilization of products help the consumers for defining and living out their own identity. For having a better understanding regarding behaviour of customers and the identity generated by it, it is important to acknowledge the meanings being attached by customers to possessions. Possessions are known to be considered as one of the most important element in the concept of self (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). The concept of extended self is an extremely important considered as it helps in defining the nature and extent of the relationship between the concept of self and possessions. Hence, it can be stated that for understanding the concept of extended self, possessing and consumer behaviour play a significant role.

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Concept of extended self and impact on consumer behaviour

  1. 1. CONCEPT OF EXTENDED SELF AND IMPACT ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction................................................................................................................................2 What is Extended Self?..............................................................................................................2 Impact on Consumer Behaviour ................................................................................................3 Application of Extended Self Concept ......................................................................................5 Advertisement 1: “Real Beauty Sketches” of Dove ..............................................................5 Advertisement 2: “Can and Will” of Land Rover, UK..........................................................6 Advertisement 3: “Gorilla” of Cadbury Dairy Milk..............................................................7 Advertisement 4: “Real Good Times” of Thomas Cook .......................................................8 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................8 References................................................................................................................................10
  3. 3. Introduction Consumers acknowledge that the possessions they own have an intimate tie up with the concept of self. Ownership and utilization of products help the consumers for defining and living out their own identity. For having a better understanding regarding behaviour of customers and the identity generated by it, it is important to acknowledge the meanings being attached by customers to possessions. Possessions are known to be considered as one of the most important element in the concept of self (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). The concept of extended self is an extremely important considered as it helps in defining the nature and extent of the relationship between the concept of self and possessions. Hence, it can be stated that for understanding the concept of extended self, possessing and consumer behaviour play a significant role. According to the concept of self, it has been recognized that individuals consumer in ways maintaining consistency with the sense of generating self- identity. This particular concept can be widened for understanding the concept of extended self. With respect to possessions, self- extension is referred to as the contributions made by possessions for the establishment of identity. Hence, it is important to link these concepts with possessions (Belk 1988). According to both of these concepts, personality is viewed as being a unified whole, whereas the other concepts of consumer behaviour consider it is as a specifically different trait. Personality is considered as being a unified whole as it contributes in reflecting personal differences. In light with the theory on consumer behaviour, this paper will be discussing and analysing the concept of extended self, along with its impact on the buying behaviour of customers. Further ahead, four advertisement will be selected and discussed as to how these advertisements have considered or not considered the application of this concept in an effective manner. What is Extended Self? Extended self is proposed and defined as a combination of objects, mainly human beings, which contributes in the production of an individual physically and an individual considers them psychologically, and their potentiality by which one can have a sense of their own identity (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). The concept related to extended- self can be understood in two different directions. These directions are extension considering objects for creation of identity with non- human beings and extension considering time that is future beings and past
  4. 4. beings. It has been indicated by recent researchers that consumers focus on constructing their own identity and these are presented by making choices of brand on the basis of congruency amongst association of brand user and associations of self- image. Considering the concept of extended self, it has been asserted that individuals do no purchase products just for what is being done by them, but also for what meaning they can reflect by the possession of these products (Belk 1988). Therefore, it can be stated that brands are considered as being symbols, the meaning of which can be used for creating and defining the self- concept for the consumers. Brands end up having a close link with the self when a brand holds the position of helping the consumers for the achievement of goals, the motivation of which is done by the self. For an instance, brands can be utilized for meeting the needs of self- expression, privately or publicly (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). These can be served as being a significant tool for socially integrating or for connecting the others with the past, and these behave as symbols for the purpose of personally accomplishing, providing self- esteem, allowing one for differentiating themselves and expressing individuality, and helping people by the transitions of life. It has been suggested that there are three main ways by which consumers may come for regarding an object as being a part of self- identity in its extended form. One way by which this can be done is by controlling or appropriating an object for the personal utilization. This is very similar to the point that experience of object can be done as being part of their self- identity to the limit up to which control and power can be exercised over them (Belk 1988). The second way by which an object can be incorporated into extended self is by the fact that ownership comes by transformation. The third way this can be done is by acknowledging them. This is due to the fact that if one has knowledge about utilizing a specific object, there will be desire for possessing it and this results in making it a subject instead of just object. Impact on Consumer Behaviour In consideration with the theory of consumer behaviour, it can be stated that money contributes in providing power of buying that provides the ability of creating extended self. Money contributes in enlarging the scope of extended self as by having accessibility of more money, one will be able to enlarge their imagination in a significant manner (Cohen 2009). Money also contributes in providing the power for selectively rejecting or acquiring objects that can be purchased. Thereby, it refers to the fact that one will have the ability to shape their
  5. 5. extended self in a significant manner. Money also considers providing possessions to the others as a source of creating extended self as well. All of these sources contribute to make objects as being a significant part of their extended self and are known to be intentional and active ways of extended self (Belk 1988). Significant examples for extended self with respect to the products being purchased by consumers, acquiring of clothing, automobiles and housing can be done being used for making inferences regarding the customers (Cohen 2009). Objects like pieces of craft to the craftsman, land for the farmers, pieces of art for the artist may end up becoming a part of extended self as consumers intentionally created or worked on these things, making investment of self and energy by themselves. All of these can be considered as being active processes for creating extended self. However, objects such as furnishings for households becomes a significant part of extended self by gaining knowledge that comes out of habits, these contribute in becoming a significant part of the familiar landscape in the interiors (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). The extended self is created by generating memories that are not closely related with the furnishing but is highly dependent on the individuals using it. Hence, it can be stated that these forms of creating extended self are not intentional and active. In simple words, it can be stated that extended self is referred to as those products being purchased by an individual and at the same point of time, this time becoming a significant part of an individual’s self. It has been identified that there are four difference degrees related to extended self. These are group, community, family and individual (Belk 1988). These seem to be having a significant impact on the behaviour of consumers for purchasing and using products for the development of extended self. These impacts will be discussed further ahead. Perceived Value of Conspicuousness Considering the customers showing preference on consuming prestigious brands, it can be stated that the conspicuous value of a particular product has a positive relation with it susceptibility to the influence on reference group (Cohen 2009). For example, it has been stated that luxurious products that can be consumed publicly have more chances of being conspicuous products in comparison with the luxury products that are consumed privately. Perceived Value of Uniqueness This particular impact has a significant link with personal and interpersonal impacts. In the most clear context, there is consideration of emotional and personal desire when consuming or purchasing prestigious brands, but it also results in influencing and being influenced by the
  6. 6. behaviour of individuals. With respect to this, it has been revealed that a perceived restricted supplying of objects contributes in enhancing the value and preference of customers for a specific brand (Belk 1988). Products being provided at restricted supply seem to be having higher value, while the products with ready availability are known to be less desirable. These contribute in commanding prestige and respect. Hence, it can be stated that the concept of extended self has a significant impact on the demand for a specific product considering its features and utilization. Social Value being perceived According to the bandwagon effect, there is consideration of effect that results in influencing the lower- end extension of brand. The notion related to extended self can be considered as being useful for interpretation of prestige value that results in encouraging the bandwagon effect. This effect has a significant impact on an individual for conforming with the prestigious brands or/ and for being differentiated from the reference groups that are non- prestigious (Cohen 2009). These are considered as being the central point of motivation that underline the consumption of prestigious products. A number of reference groups refer to the issue to be within demands and pressures on the membership groups of one, and being attracted by the standard that has been set by another group of references. Application of Extended Self Concept Advertisement 1: “Real Beauty Sketches” of Dove The advertisement that has been chosen for understanding the concept of extended self is that of Dove. This advertisement has been chosen as the main aim of the campaign itself had been focused on boosting self- confidence and self- esteem that is a significant part of ones extended self. The product that is being advertised is for a shampoo. Plot of the Advertisement In this particular advertisement, seven females of different background and ages had been called by a forensic artist trained under FBI. The purpose was focused on creating composite sketch on the basis of descriptions provided by them regarding their own facial dimensions and features. Then the artist did not see the ladies he was making sketch of. Further ahead, these women had a conversation with one of the female candidates, and then another sketch was made on the basis of the other female candidate based on the description provided the other candidate. None of the female candidates had knowledge about what was happening.
  7. 7. On completing the sketches of all female candidates, based on their own description and the ones provided by the other candidate. Further ahead, both the sketches were exposed in front of the respective candidates, and it had been found that the sketch made by the description provided by the other candidate was more similar to the actual facial features in comparison with the sketch developed based on their own description. This ad had been established for targeting the self- esteem of women while promoting the product of shampoo. Application of Theory The main purpose of this advertisement had been focused on celebrating the natural and obvious physical variations that are being embodied by all females and inspiring them for having the confidence of being comfortable with each other. The mission of the ad had been focused on creating a world in which beauty should be considered as a source of generating confidence, rather than the creation of anxiety. Considering these particular aims and objectives, it can be stated that the marketers had been focused on communicating their message with the customers that beauty has no definition and every individual have their own ways of defining themselves as beautiful. Hence, according to this advertisement, women can enhance their beauty by using Dove shampoo and boost their confidence by feeling beautiful, and this results in enhancing the concept of extended- self amongst the customers. The concept has been used in a significant manner and the main focus of the advertisement is intact over the concept of extended self. Advertisement 2: “Can and Will” of Land Rover, UK The second advertisement that has been chosen for the purpose of analysis and discussion is the advertisement of “Can and Will” to deliver the message that one can end up going and reaching anywhere with the attitude of the brand, Land Rover. This advertisement has been chosen because it provides the direct message of doing something that one is willing to do even if it has to be done again and again. Plot of the Advertisement The advertisement has been set for the duration of 60 seconds that feature individuals embodying the spirit of “Can and Will” that include Mike Goody, who ended up losing his leg in Afghanistan and aims on representing the Invictus Games in UK. All that is being expressed by these individuals is that “Don’t tell me I can’t, as I will and I can.” Theoretical Application
  8. 8. This campaign celebrates the spirit of being highly determined by which one is able to hold the ability of completing every single activity as they believe in themselves. By enhancing the spirit of determination amongst the general public, the marketers have reflected the attitude of vehicles being provided by Land Rover for conquering some of the most inhospitable spots all across the globe. This contributes in reflecting the concept of extended self in a significant manner. Hence, it can be stated that the message being delivered by the marketer s is done in a way that by acquiring the new ranges of Land Rover, one will be able to enhance the spirit of determination that plays a significant role in the establishment of extended self. Hence, it can be concluded that the concept has been used in a significant manner and the main focus of the advertisement is intact over the concept of extended self. This is being done by considering the emotional and functional benefits of acquiring the case. The self- expressive advantages are the one allowing brands for becoming symbols related to the self- concept of an individual. Vehicles can be acquired for expressing their social status and their purchasing power in the society and stay intact with the generation of extended self. Advertisement 3: “Gorilla” of Cadbury Dairy Milk This ad had been extremely popular providing solid evidence that clever advertisement can contribute in creating short memories. This particular d has been chosen as it does not seem to reflect the concept of extended self. The launch of this advertisement had been done for the promotion of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. Plot of the Advertisement The most important part in the plot of this advertisement had been Gorilla. The advertisement involves a simple shot of 90 seconds with the camera revolving around the music studio and the music being played on the background is “In the air tonight” by Phil Collins. A gorilla of large size sits at the kit of drum that plays along with the famous drum fill of the song. Theoretical Application Considering the background of this advertisement, it can be clearly stated that there is no specific consideration towards the concept of extended self. The proposal of this particular advertisement has been focused on taking a step away by pushing the chocolate by traditional sources of advertisement, and instead producing the pieces of entertainment that seems to be appealing the wider range of customer and spreading by the techniques of viral marketing.
  9. 9. With the passage of certain events and occurrence of certain events, the image of Cadbury Dairy Milk had ended up becoming negative. Hence, the placement of this advertisement had been done for linking with the public in a positive manner again. The use of this advertisement had been done for boosting the amount of sales in a significant manner, involving higher engagement of brand as well. Advertisement 4: “Real Good Times” of Thomas Cook The advertisement has been placed for delivering the message that the actual good times are when one goes on a holiday. Being an agency of travel and tourism, the organization has placed the advertisement for expressing the positive benefits of going on holidays and spending time with family. Hence, this particular advertisement focuses on showing different people on different holiday destinations. This particular advertisement has not been placed with respect to the concept of extended self. However, the organization has not considered the utilization of celebrities and their identity while enhancing the meaning of holiday by expressing the happiness of general public (Belk 1988). This particular message has been expressed with the main aim of expressing happiness and being in a family rather than enhancing their individual identity. Hence, this advertisement has promoted the benefits of going holidays and having fun rather than focusing on the enhancement of individual personality. Conclusion There are reasonable facts for asserting that as possible self- concept play a significant role in functioning of motivation in order to guide the behaviour of consumers. Most of these activities will be involving certain categories of acquisition, disposition or consumption behaviour related to interest for the researches on customers (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). Incorporating the possible factor of self may contribute in being a valuable tool to uncover a number of different types of motivations that has not been considered as a significant way for addressing the present conceptions related to self- recognition in the behaviour of customers. Consistency being maintained in the concept of extended self, possible selves would be allowed in order to completely encompass the construction for integrating future, present and past self. By making extension in the concept of self for incorporating what are the hopes and fears of the customer, behaviour of customers can be considered as covering a number of different aspects related to consumption (Cohen 2009). This includes the concept of possession that has a close link with consumer’s purchasing power.
  10. 10. As stated within the advertisements as examples of reflecting the concept of extended self, it can be stated that a number of categories of services or products are being marketed essentiality with the main aim focused to assist the customer in the achievement of a positive attitude and self- identity, or to avoid a negative attitude and self- identity in front of the customers (Siddiqui and Turley 2006). All of these elements of extended self, have a significant impact on the attitude and behaviour of consumer for purchasing that particular product. As a point of conclusion, it has been asserted that individuals do no purchase products just for what is being done by them, but also for what meaning they can reflect by the possession of these products in a significant manner.
  11. 11. References Belk, RW. 1988. "Possessions and the Extended Self," Journal of Consumer Research, pp. 139-168. Cohen, JB. 2009. “An Over-Extended Self?" Journal of Consumer Research, pp. 125-128. Siddiqui, S. and Turley, D. 2006. “Extending the self in a virtual world,” Advances in Consumer Research, 33, pp. 647-648.

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