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Abosag, Ibrahim, Ramadan, Zahy, Baker, Tom and Jin, Zhongqi (2020) 'Customers' need for uniqueness theory versus brand congruence theory: The impact on satisfaction with social network sites.' Journal of Business Research, 117 (Sept). pp. 862-872.

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Social media brands may experience a lack of competitiveness and attraction due to the silent negative increase of customers' need for uniqueness (NFU). This is the result of a tension between the theory of brand congruence, that most brands endeavor to establish with their customers, and the theory of consumers' NFU, that many consumers aim to fulfill, that has not been previously examined. Whilst the theory of brand congruence states that consumers have a favorable attitude towards brands that greatly match their self-concept (brand similarity), the theory of uniqueness, when brand similarity is shared with others, generates avoidance of similarities with others, leading to a reduction in engagement and satisfaction. Social media platforms including Facebook are at risk from customers' NFU which significantly reduces users' satisfaction, hence reducing the attractiveness and usage of Facebook. To examine this, the paper identifies the paradox of similarity in relation to both theories and examines the relationship between consumers' socialization within Social Network Sites (SNSs), brand similarity, consumers' need for uniqueness, and consumers' satisfaction with the SNS. The conceptual model was tested using data from 341 consumers in the US. The findings show that whilst satisfaction with the SNS is enhanced by brand similarity and friend liking, it is undermined by customers' need for uniqueness. Implications for online brand communities and SNSs (Facebook) are discussed and guidance for future research is provided.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Uniqueness, Friend liking, Brand, Satisfaction, Facebook
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
ISSN: 01482963
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 May 2019 09:21

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