The role of brands and mediating technologies in assembling long-distance family practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Increasingly, circumstances such as divorce, employment commuting, and military service have resulted in the geographic dispersion of family networks, and this reality holds both risks and opportunities for brands, products, and services embedded in family life. The authors leverage a longitudinal design including group interviews (initial/follow-up) and participant diaries to track how families' consumption practices shift in response to separation, morphing across time and place to retain and strengthen family bonds. Their findings generate a framework that explains how and when colocated consumption practices reassemble through technologies across distances. The framework considers practice dimensions, separation type, motivation, potential/realized capacities, and mobilized technologies to forecast potential practice trajectories under conditions of extended separation. Five potential trajectories emerge: no trial, heroic quests, failed trial, easy translations, and sacred pieces. The authors' discussion of managerial implications provides suggestions to enable companies to anticipate trajectories and take action to enhance brand use and loyalty to ensure that their brands survive reassembly within existing family practices or become integral to new family practices that feature the brand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2014


  • Assemblage capacity
  • Brand loyalty
  • Connected consumers
  • Family consumption practices
  • Geographically dispersed networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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