Brand (In)fidelity: when flirting with the competition strengthens brand relationships

Irene Consiglio, Daniella M. Kupor, Francesca Gino, Michael I. Norton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We document the existence and consequences of brand flirting: a short-lived experience in which a consumer engages with and/or indulges in the alluring qualities of a brand without committing to it. We propose that brand flirting is exciting, and that when consumers flirt with a brand other than their typically preferred brand in the same product category, they can transfer this excitement to their preferred brand—resulting in even greater love and desire for it. Consistent with this conceptual account, we demonstrate that this brand flirting effect is mediated by excitement. Moreover, the brand flirting effect is most likely to emerge under conditions that facilitate arousal transfer: when consumers are highly committed to their preferred brand, and when the brand with which consumers flirt is similar to their preferred brand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Brand flirting
  • Brand relationships
  • Commitment


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