Consumer Identities


Special issue of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Edited by Luk Warlop and Stefano Puntoni; Deadline 30 Jun 2011

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IJRM Special Issue on Consumer Identities

Guest Editors: Luk Warlop (K.U.Leuven & Norwegian School of Management) and Stefano Puntoni (Erasmus University)

The International Journal of Research in Marketing invites submissions for a special issue on Consumer Identities. Much of our consumer behavior involves some degree of self-reflection—about who we are or are seen to be. Consumers can adopt, possess and strive for multiple identities, depending on the consumption context and the social environment. We can identify with broad social categories based on gender, nationality, or social class, but we can also identify in terms of traits, characteristics or abilities ("I am outgoing and smart"), moral values ("I am a good person"), and social roles (“I am a mother”, “I am a consumer”). These consumer identities may refer to who we currently are, who we used to be, want to be, or should (not) be. Any one of these identities can influence thoughts, feelings, judgments and behavior, depending on its temporary accessibility and/or chronic importance. In particular, many consumption activities serve intrapersonal (e.g., self-verification, self-esteem) or interpersonal (e.g., self-expression, belonging) goals that reflect, and feed into, self-identification processes.

It is thus not surprising that literature in marketing and consumer research has long recognized the role of identity in consumption. However, important new questions for researchers interested in consumer identities are being raised by recent trends in both marketing—e.g., globalization, virtual worlds, social networking—and consumer psychology—e.g., the interplay between deliberate and automatic processes, the role of emotions in decision making.

This special issue aims to capture and publish the latest thinking on consumer identities. Without limiting the scope of the papers to be submitted, we encourage original empirical work studying:

  • The antecedents of the activation of consumer identities in the social and marketing environment;
  • The mental organization of multiple consumer identities;
  • Processes underlying assimilation to, and deviation from, marketing-induced aspects of identity;
  • Coping processes when identities conflict;
  • The incorporation of products and experiences in consumers’ sense of self;
  • The implications of consumer identities for self-regulation, buyer-seller interactions, advertising effects, international marketing, customer segmentation, and other substantive domains relevant to marketing.

The deadline for initial submission to this special issue is June 30, 2011. The review process will feature a maximum of two rounds and final decisions will be made before May 2012. Publication is scheduled for December 2012. Given the limited time-window for revising papers, the editors’ aim in most cases is to make a decision on the first round. It is therefore very important that submissions are as polished as possible. When submitting a paper (, authors should mention that the paper should be considered for this special issue. Inquiries can be sent to

About the International Journal of Research in Marketing

IJRM is an international, double-blind peer-reviewed journal for marketing academics and practitioners. Building on a great tradition of global marketing scholarship, IJRM aims to contribute substantially to the field of marketing research by providing a high-quality medium for the dissemination of new marketing knowledge and methods. The 2010 impact factor is 1.87 (five-year impact factor is 2.89).