Title page for ETD etd-06242012-154203

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author De Gouveia, Claudia Maureen Gois
URN etd-06242012-154203
Document Title The role of brands in the formation and manifestation of adolescent identity
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Ms N Kleyn Supervisor
  • adolescents
  • identity
  • brands
  • materialism
  • status consumption
  • conspicuous consumption
Date 2012-03-08
Availability unrestricted
The role that brands play in the lives of consumers has changed dramatically over time, from purely functional to instrumental, symbolic and hedonic in nature. Literature supports that brands are major contributors to, and reflections of, consumer identities. Despite this, literature referring to adolescents, brands and identity is lacking. Adolescents are emerging as the most brand-orientated, consumer-involved and materialistic generation in history. This research sought to understand the role of brands in adolescent identity through: i) sourcing literature to understand the role of brands in the formation and manifestation of adolescent identity, and ii) empirically deepening our understanding of how adolescents use brands to form and manifest their identities in an emerging market context. In a qualitative research study using focus groups, the views of four high- and low-income groups of female adolescents were investigated, compared and contrasted. Differences and commonalities were evident among groups around current brands owned versus brands aspired to, whether brands are consumed for the self or for others, and the role of reference groups. The findings showed differences between the high-income groups, suggesting that variances exist due to differing social standings. The findings further suggested commonalities between the low- and high-income adolescents from a lower social standing. These findings suggest the importance and need for further research in understanding the adolescent consumer psyche and proposes ethical considerations on the part of marketers.

2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

De Gouveia, CMG 2011, The role of brands in the formation and manifestation of adolescent identity, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06242012-154203/ >


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