Consumer Socialization and the Role of Branding in Hazardous Adolescent Drinking

Harris, Fiona; Gordon, Ross; MacKintosh, Anne Marie and Hastings, Gerard (2015). Consumer Socialization and the Role of Branding in Hazardous Adolescent Drinking. Psychology & Marketing, 32(12) pp. 1175–1190.



This study examines the relationship between alcohol marketing and consumer socialization to alcohol brands (assessed here using aided and unaided brand recognition and brand saliency), and the associated relationship between consumer socialization and hazardous alcohol consumption among a cohort of adolescents surveyed in Scotland. The research addresses gaps in the consumer socialization literature, by examining how marketing influences brand consumer socialization, and how brand consumer socialization influences subsequent hazardous consumption behavior over time, using a robust longitudinal design that assesses causal relationships while controlling for a wide range of important confounding variables. The results demonstrate the contribution of marketing to adolescents’ brand socialization to alcohol and the impact of this socialization on subsequent drinking behaviors. Implications for marketing managers, parents, policymakers, and consumer researchers are discussed, together with suggestions for future consumer research.

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