Brand addiction: Exploring the concept and its definition through an experiential lens

Charles Cui, Mona Mrad, Margaret Hogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)


Brand addiction is one of the most important ways that consumers engage with brands. Other types of consumer-brand relationships include brand attachment, brand love, brand loyalty, brand passion and brand trust. This study provides an experientially grounded conceptualization and definition of brand addiction that distinguishes it clearly from other forms of consumer-brand relationships; and also from compulsive buying and acquisitive desire. Qualitative data from focus groups and projective-technique-based interviews were used to identify eleven salient properties which, in combination, characterize brand addiction: acquisitiveness; anxiety-irritability, bonding, brand exclusivity, collecting, compulsive urges, financial management versus debt tolerance, dependence, gratification, mental and behavioral preoccupation, and word of mouth. We compare brand addiction with the features of other consumer-brand relationships. The findings suggest that brand addiction is different from other consumer-brand-relationship concepts, and does not necessarily lead to harmful consequences for all brand addicts (unlike many other types of addiction).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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