Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

The Effect of Brand Experience on Brand Relationship Quality

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

The Effect of Brand Experience on Brand Relationship Quality

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

It is very important for customers to have brand experiences in marketing practice. These brand experiences affect consumer-brand relationship quality positively. Brand experience is composed of four dimensions: sensory, affective, behavioral, and intellectual. These are evoked by brand-related stimuli like brand design, communications and environments.

In this research, we investigate which brand experiences affect brand relationship quality. Among four brand experience dimensions, we investigate affective and behavioral brand experiences, because affective and behavioral dimensions have a decisive effect on the brand attachment. According to this research, an affective brand experience affects brand trust and brand commitment positively. A behavioral brand experience does not affect brand trust meaningfully but positively affects brand commitment.

Also we examine brand trust-brand commitment relationship and brand relationship quality-brand loyalty. Brand trust affects brand commitment positively and brand relationship quality (trust, commitment) influences brand loyalty positively.

In this study, we suggest that not all brand experiences are effective to promote brand relationship quality. According to the goal of a company or a brand, marketing managers should implement brand experience strategies selectively. Also, it is important to choose a brand experience activity that is well matched with the pursuing brand relationships. Through this study, we suggest brand experiences are crucial for building a brand relationship and a brand loyalty.

INTRODUCTION

In marketing practice, brand experience has attracted much attention(Brakus, Schmitt & Zarantonello, 2009). It is important for marketing professionals to understand how customers experience brands and how the brand experience affects marketing strategies for services and products. Nowadays, customers are not satisfied with buying products for functional benefits. Many researchers suggested that the pervasive influence of emotional response in product consumption and shopping(Holbrook, Chestnut, Oliva & Greenleaf, 1984; Batra & Ray, 1986; Westbrook, 1987; Batra & Holbrook, 1990; Cohen, 1990). Schmitt(1999) said consumers increasingly make choices based on the experiential factor that the product offers. It has been suggested that an emotion-rich experience provides not only brand differentiation and consumer loyalty but also sales increase and promotion of the brands(Morrison & Crane, 2007). It means that brand experience can affect the customer-brand relationship.

Relationship Marketing has been studied by using Fournier(1998)' s conceptualization of Brand relationship quality (BRQ). Brand relationship has arrived a new stage to be one of the principal focus of research on consumers and brands(Aaker, Fournier & Brasel, 2004; Breivik & Thorbjornsen, 2008; Chang & Chieng, 2006; Hass, 2007; Huber, Collhardt, Matthes & Vogel, 2009). Brand relationship quality is usually used to evaluate the relationship strength and the depth of consumer-brand relationship(Xie & Heung, 2009). The advantage of studying brand relationship is the ability to provide insights into the impact of brands on customers and thenneeds (Breivik & Thorbjornsen, 2008; Fournier, 1998; Monga, 2002). But empirical studies that deal with whether brand relationship quality could influence consumers' purchase intentions and behaviors are scant(Xie & Heung, 2009). Researches regarding the correlation between consumers' experiences of brands and brand relationship quality are also limited.

Therefore the purpose of this study is to examine how brand experience affects customerbrand relationship quality. This could be a contribution for marketing managers to improve their knowledge about the relationship between their brands and customers and to understand their customers more accurately.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND AND PROPOSITION

Brand Experience

Brand experiences are "subjective, internal consumer responses(sensations, feelings, and cognitions) and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand' s identity, packaging, design, environments and communications" (Brakus, Schmitt & Zarantonello, 2009). …

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