The paper "How Do Consumers Express Their Identity Through Symbolic Consumption On Food And Drink" is a perfect example of a Marketing Literature Review. As consumption changes in contemporary society, people develop an inherent desire to communicate to others who they are in everyday life (Schembri, Merrilees & Kristiansen 2010). People consistently engage in social acts, such as consumption involving symbolic shopping in order to communicate the self to others. This is interpreted as a presentation of self (Peltonen 2013). Consumers are finding it equally important to purchase things for what they do as what they mean.
Consumers make their purchase decisions, knowingly or unknowingly, based upon their identity. They also make such decisions based upon the identity they would wish to express to others (Phillips 2003). The concept of multiple selves is discussed with reference to literature on symbolic consumption and identity in order to examine these ideas. Additionally, the description of food and drink identity is used to illustrate the connection between symbolic consumption and identity expression. According to Peltonen (2013), symbolic consumption is unrestricted to particular product categories or branded products.
Virtually all actions by human beings can be regarded as symbolic consumption. Every action humans do or decide not to do during their everyday life is the consequence of particular decision processes. Therefore, all things that explain the identity of the consumer can be considered as part of symbolic consumption (Schembri et al 2010). However, if a product has to act as a symbolic communicative tool, Ritson & Elliott (1999) argues that it must be socially recognized and the meaning associated with such a product must not only be clearly established but also understood by a particular segment of the society that consumes the product.
The shared meaning and interpretations developed from a product is very important in the field of symbolic consumption as asserts Philips (2003). Signaling and expressing the current or the desired identity of the individual is one of the important elements of symbolic consumption (Wilson 2006). As such, consumers choose particular products because they closely match their personalities (Wilson 2006). This, according to Shankar & Fitchett (2002) suggests that the consumption habits of individuals are essential to understanding who they are and make them proud of themselves.
Although consumers may still use value as a basis of choosing products, they may choose a particular product because they feel to fits in well with their identity (Shankar & Fitchett 2002). Therefore, Phillips (2003) postulates that the choice of food and drink gives consumers the opportunity to express their own personality and originality. The concept of multiple selves The concept of multiple selves recommends questions about the choice of identity (Philips 2003). Consumers evaluate the social consequences of adopting identity and they base their consumption decisions on this evaluation (Schembri et al 2010).
Arnould & Thompson (2005) recommends the significance of social connections in decision making and also indicates that the identities people perform well are often given priority. The more outstanding identity for an individual is likely to have many additional possessions related to identity and if it is visible, others may judge the individual based on it (Philips 2003). According to Arnould & Thompson (2005) conclusion about how consumers are committed to the identity can be made after assessing product use and marketplace behaviors.
This would, in turn, guide the behavior of others towards an individual.
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