Previous studies dealing with the notion of brand congruence suffer from questionable methods of group determination, suspect demonstrations of brand congruence effects, and inadequate attention paid to types of social relation. To overcome these shortcomings, the present study uses graph-theoretic social network techniques to examine interpersonal relationships and brand choice behavior in natural environments. The brand choices of individuals in a social relationship were compared to those of unrelated individuals across various products, types of social relation, and types of basic sociological structure (dyad, clique, and 2-plex). While significant brand congruence effects were obtained, they were clustered in a few products mediated by types of social relation. Conspicuousness of the product, as traditionally defined, was found to be insufficient to account for these findings.
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