Abstract

Consumers acquire and display material possessions for the purpose of feeling differentiated from other people and, thus, are targeted with a variety of marketing stimuli that attempt to enhance self-perceptions of uniqueness. Because the pursuit of differentness (or counterconformity motivation) varies across individuals to influence consumer responses, we develop and validate a trait measure of consumers' need for uniqueness. Consumers' need for uniqueness is defined as an individual's pursuit of differentness relative to others that is achieved through the acquisition, utilization, and disposition of consumer goods for the purpose of developing and enhancing one's personal and social identity. Following assessments of the scale's latent structure, a series of validation studies examines the scale's validity. The presentation of empirical work is followed by a discussion of how consumers' need for uniqueness could be used in better understanding consumer behavior and the role consumption plays in people's expression of identity.

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