Professor of Marketing
Journal Article | Journal of Consumer Research | 36 | February 2010
The Persuasive Role of Incidental Similarity on Attitudes and Purchase Intentions in a Sales Context
This paper examines the effects of incidental similarity shared between a salesperson and a potential customer.The authors show that an incidental similarity, such as a shared birthday or a shared birthplace, can result in a more favorable attitude and a higher intention to purchase.The authors argue and find that the need for social connectedness underlies the persuasive effects produced by incidental similarity, in an interpersonal context.In addition, the authors identify two boundary conditions that qualify our findings. The authors show that the valence of the salesperson’s behavior and the possibility of an extended service relationship with the salesperson moderate the process in the outline. When the need for social connectedness is mitigated, the positive effects of incidental similarity are lost.