Can brands make us happy? A research framework for the study of brands and their effects on happiness
Luedicke, M. K.
Brands permeate consumer culture. Yet, despite their ubiquitous presence, one of the societally most relevant and fundamental questions of brand existence remains among the most difficult to capture: Can brands make us happy? Academics have identified emotional and cognitive influences of brands on loyalty and studied the broader well-being effects of income and consumption. This paper adds to this discourse by analyzing the roads and barriers of researching correlations between brands and happiness. We first evaluate methods to reliably assess general influences on happiness. Then, we differentiate three levels of the consumer-brand experience and discuss if and how their respective correlations with happiness can meaningfully be measured. As a result, we offer a roadmap for brand-related happiness research that directs and inspires further inquiry.