University of Oulu

Teck Ming Tan, Jari Salo, Jouni Juntunen, Ashish Kumar, (2019) "The role of temporal focus and self-congruence on consumer preference and willingness to pay: A new scrutiny in branding strategy", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 Issue: 1, pp.37-62,

The role of temporal focus and self-congruence on consumer preference and willingness to pay : a new scrutiny in branding strategy

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Author: Tan, Teck Ming1; Salo, Jari2,3; Juntunen, Jouni1;
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
4Department of Marketing, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-02-26


Purpose: The study aims to investigate the psychological mechanism that motivates consumers to pay more for a preferred brand that reflects their actual or ideal self-concept, by examining the shift in attention between consumer’s present, future, and past moments.

Design/methodology/approach: First, in a survey setting, the study identifies the relationship between temporal focus and self-congruence. Subsequently, we conduct three experiments to capture the effects of temporal focus on brand preference and willingness to pay (WTP). In these experiments, we manipulate consumers’ self-congruence and temporal focus.

Findings: The findings show that consumers with a present focus (distant future and distant past foci) tend to evaluate a brand more preferably when the brand serves to reflect their actual (ideal) selves. However, in the absence of present focus consumers’ WTP is more for a brand that reflects their ideal selves.

Research limitations/implications: The study does not have an actual measure on consumers’ WTP; instead we use single-item measure.

Practical implications: This study sheds new light on branding strategy. The results suggest that authentic and aspirational branding strategies are relevant to publicly consumed products. Brand managers could incorporate consumers’ temporal focus into branding strategy that could significantly influence consumer preference and WTP for their brands.

Originality/value: This study expands our understanding of brand usage imagery congruity by showing that temporal focus is an important determinant of self-congruence. In this regard, this study empirically investigates the relationship of temporal focus, self-congruence, brand preference, and WTP.

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Series: European journal of marketing
ISSN: 0309-0566
ISSN-E: 1758-7123
ISSN-L: 0309-0566
Volume: 53
Issue: 1
Pages: 37 - 62
DOI: 10.1108/EJM-04-2017-0303
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 511 Economics
512 Business and management
515 Psychology
Copyright information: © Emerald Publishing Limited. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. Licensed re-use rights only. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.