Can You Really Love Things As Much As People? With Aaron Ahuvia

Love connects us to things in a deep way. But when we say we love our car, or we love our favorite beach, or we love our children, the love we express for each of those things is very different. So can we really love things as much as we love people?

Our guest is Dr. Aaron Ahuvia, the world’s leading expert on brand love, a topic he pioneered and has worked on since 1990. He is a Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor’s Ross School of Business. Among the many books and papers he has authored, our favorite is the paper titled “Dr. Seuss, Felicitator”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “felicitator,” it is someone who brings happiness to others.

With Aaron, we discuss the very interesting and important topic of loving the things in our lives, why we love them, and how that love can change over time. This is especially true with brands and products and sporting teams and neighborhoods. One of the big takeaways from our conversation with Aaron is just to let go of this notion that it might be bad to love something.

A lot of times loving the objects and purchasing objects becomes a way of expressing your love for the activity. ~ Aaron Ahuvia, Episode 309 Share on X

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(4:45) Welcome and speed round questions.

(7:09) Can you really love a thing like you love a person?

(9:39) The difference between liking and loving.

(13:13) Why do we love sports teams?

(18:05) Why do we love something that can’t reciprocate?

(20:18) Is there an evolutionary basis to our love of objects?

(23:44) Do we love the things we use more often?

(27:44) Loving the music vs. the equipment that plays the music.

(34:29) The social aspect of the objects we buy.

(36:46) How Aaron loves music.

(42:46) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on what we love.


© 2022 Behavioral Grooves


More Episodes To Enjoy

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Episode 306, “Trust Your Gut? Only If The Data Supports It”: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/trust-your-gut/

Rory Sutherland & Pete Dyson, Episode 290 “Transport Your Thinking; Why We Need To Reframe Travel”: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/transport-rory-sutherland-pete-dyson/

AIRDATE: August 1, 2022 EPISODE 309

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Can You Really Love Things As Much As People? With Aaron Ahuvia