Developing a Conceptual Model of Brand Love Based on the Symbolic Interaction Theory

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


According to the symbolic interaction theory, humans are the only creatures who can interpret and recognize different phenomena through interaction with their mind in the context of society. Brand love is a subjective concept based on behavioral theories and cognitive theories. There is still unresolved challenges concerning the explanation of any phenomenon, including brand love, solely based on subjective criteria or sociocognitive theory and symbolic interaction theory. It is also believed that other factors or elements, such as the environment and individual characteristics are also effective in conceptualizing each phenomenon. The present syudy aims to explain the conceptual nature of brand love by separating the essential elements (intrinsic) from the transverse (superficial) elements. It also attempts to explain the nature of the brand love for durable commodities in consumer markets based on symbolic interaction theory.
This qualitative research is fundamental with regard to its purpose, whici is conducted based on step-by-step in-depth interviews. Data analysis is based on the grounded theory approach using content analysis. The statistical population includes people involved in the decision-making process of purchasing product brands in 18 metropolises with the population of more than 500,000 people. Seven participants were selected for this study based on snowball sampling with theoretical adequacy.
Based on the findings, a conceptual model was developed using the threefold framework including individual, mind, and society. Then, the essence and breadth of the model were determined. Fifty concepts were identified, which were categorized into 19 themes. However, only five elements are related to the essence of brand love. Moreover, six concepts are considered among the underlying factors forming the concept of brand love. In addition, at least two dimensions have been identified for each theme, which will be used to distinguish the essence elements from the brand love. The majority of the identified concepts were related to the themes of “perfectionism” and “overcoming separation”.
Brand love is a cognitive-instinctive concept that can be distinguished from the similar concepts such as friendship, lust, connection, and brand addiction based on these five elements: individual complexity, respect, symbolism, overcoming separation, and uniqueness. In addition, the underlying factors of social classes, social groups, historical background, and patriarchy-matriarchy are influential in the formation of the concept of brand love.


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