I like Indomie Noodles, you like Mama Gold Noodles – we cannot work!

Is your lack of brand compatibility affecting your close relationships & ultimately life satisfaction?

 For decades now, there have been various theories on what makes the perfect relationship; being similar to your partner, being different and it goes on and on… I think we concluded on the fact that opposites attract but when it comes to ‘important’ values like religion and ethics/moral beliefs, we need similarities.

Recently, researchers have found that similarities are essential even for non ‘important’ things – brand preferences. A consumer research study conducted on Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power and Life Satisfaction, has found that the extent to which we have similar brand preferences affects our life satisfaction (Brick, Fitzsimons and Chartrand ). Let’s dive in properly!

Now, there are 3 factors at play here; Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power and Life Satisfaction (Brick, Fitzsimons and Chartrand ). Brand Compatibility is whether or not you share the same brand preferences with people you are in a relationship with. Relationship Power is defined as how much control you have over resources and your capacity to influence outcomes in a relationship – essentially being the decision maker. And Life Satisfaction as the name implies, is an assessment of how content one is with their life.

So, what the consumer researchers have found is that if you and your partner have low brand compatibility (e.g. you like Toyota and your partner likes Honda), whoever has the relationship power is the one with the higher life satisfaction. So if your partner has the relationship power and exerts this power to purchase a Honda, your life satisfaction is lower and your partner’s is higher. For your partner, they got what they want, and for you, you did not. At that moment and every time, you drive the Honda, you feel less satisfied and this is engrained in your memory – which presents a challenge and multiple opportunities for conflict with your partner.

Conversely, if you have high brand compatibility (e.g. both you and your partner prefer Coke over Pepsi), regardless of who has the relationship power, and you both buy the Coke, both your life satisfaction will be high; you are both happy with the purchase and the opportunities for conflict do not present themselves.

Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power & Life Satisfaction

Applying this to our lives, this research is actually grounded in everyday truth. If you and your partner (by the way, the phenomena was found with all kinds of relationships not just romantic ones), both like the same brands the chances of arguing and exerting control and in some instances dominance are lower than when you don’t like the same brand.

And I don’t know about you but arguments and conflicts definitely reduces my life satisfaction and I believe my life expectancy as well – but let’s leave that for another research to prove/disprove.


To read more on the study visit: https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/44/5/991/3896334

Works Cited

Brick, Danielle J, et al. “Coke vs. Pepsi: Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power, and Life Satisfaction.” Journal of Consumer Research 44.5 (2017): 991–1014.