People looking for love should consider touting their favourite brands on their dating profiles, according to a study that found consumer compatibility is a key to happy couples.
Researchers from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business have found liking the same brands is more important than shared interests or even personality traits when it comes to relationship compatibility.
“People think compatibility in relationships comes from having similar backgrounds, religion or education,” Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business marking professor Grainne Fitzsimons said in the report, Coke vs Pepsi: Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power and Life Satisfaction.
“But we find those things don’t explain how happy you are in life nearly as much as this notion of brand compatibility.”
Published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the researchers collected brand choices of couples for products such as soft drink, coffee, chocolate, beer and cars and analysed choices against relationship power and happiness.
The study found if couples didn’t like the same brands, conflict could arise and lead to a “death-by-a-thousand-cuts feeling”.
“If you are a different religion than your romantic partner, you know that this is an issue you can’t work through, then the relationship isn’t going to last,” Fuqua PhD student Danielle Brick said.
Dr Brick said it was unlikely couples would break up over one partner liking Pepsi and another liking Coke, but it could cause “a little conflict” years into a relationship.
“And if you’re the low-power person in the relationship, who continually loses out on brands and is stuck with your partner’s preferences, you are going to be less happy.”
If you’re stuck with your partner’s preferences, you are going to be less happy.
Curtin University School of Marketing lecturer Dr Min Teah told The New Daily people didn’t see brands as products, but representative of their personality, beliefs and deeper meanings.
“Brands invest so much in how people perceive them, how they interact with people, who buys them or follows them,” Dr Teah said.
Dr Teah said some brands were so ingrained in people’s lives, individuality and representation that liking a different brand of coffee could be as important as partners supporting opposing football teams.
“The meaning of brands has shifted so much that we have a relationship with them.
“It has associated values, symbols and has the potential to create conflict.”
The report’s researcher Grainne Fitzsimons said the findings could prompt the marketing world to create “family branding” to allow couples to adopt a joint brand that appealed to both individuals.
“Some brands are marketed as family-oriented, but that’s not the same as reaching out to everyone in the family,” Mr Fitzsimons said.
“It’s tricky, but firms that get it right can have their brand associated with happiness and harmony—and there’s nothing better than that.”